Disclaimer: Are these things really necessary at this point?
Alright, I'm gonna admit that this is going to be a challenge for me. I've never written for this fandom before, mostly because my default writing style isn't that suited for humor, which Ace Attorney positively THRIVES on.
But it's a challenge I'm looking forward to, nonetheless. The first chapter's not supposed to be that funny anyway. Another thing that I'll be challenging myself with during the course of this story: timely updates.
Because I am the SLOWEST writer in the world. Usually I wait to upload stuff until everything is completely written out, but literally, this chapter is all I have written so far. Even so, I hope you guys like it. :3
When they took him away, he was laughing.
It was the kind of laughter that made you sick inside, that crawled up your spine and made you want to turn your skin inside out. The security detail were more than eager to push his head under and through the steel frame of the van's doors, but no one immediately rushed forward to be the unlucky guard who would have to keep him company for the ride up to the jailhouse. There was just something…disturbed about him—men who had been sentenced to capital punishment just did not laugh like that.
(Or… ), Apollo thought grimly, as he considered the kind of fortitude it took for someone to commit a crime worthy of such a severe reprimand, (Maybe they do.)
Apollo found Klavier a little ways from the prison van, bent over the railing and looking pale in the face. It was a bit jarring to see one Gavin being led away in chains, only to see the younger Gavin look like he was about to be sick. They really did look too alike for his tastes.
Even from a ways away, the sound of Kristoph's laughter—afforded a metallic bite from the echoes of the confines of the prison van—did not make for a good background track. It was making it harder for Apollo to think. See, Apollo knew he wasn't the most tactful person around—he was loud, and kind of awkward at social conversation. What was he supposed to say in this sort of situation? Certainly not, "Uh, yeah, sorry your brother's completely insane."
He approached the prosecutor carefully, and decided on, "Are you alright?"
Apollo wasn't quite sure what he had expected Klavier's reaction to be.
It had certainly not been a hundred and seventy pounds of German rock star bearing down on him in an embrace. Apollo almost took a step back in shock, but found that this wasn't so easy with Klavier's arms around him.
"Ah," Apollo quickly caught sight of his hands looking rather awkward floating inches from the prosecutor's back, and sheepishly offered him a few encouraging pats, "Um. There, there."
He tried to remind himself that this show of affection was probably influenced by Klavier's European roots, but that didn't stop him from feeling very self-conscious about it.
He felt a buzzing at the back of his neck as Klavier spoke, "I'm sorry."
Apollo pulled back a bit, surprised, "What? Why are you apologizing?"
He then immediately realized that in pulling back, his hands had travelled due south to rest snugly on Klavier's hips. He retracted his hands as if they were touching fire, and abruptly stepped backwards out of Klavier's sphere of personal space.
(Be cool, Justice. Don't be weird.)
Wasn't he supposed to be cheering Klavier up? So far all he had managed to do was make himself look like an idiot. Apollo could feel himself reddening as he glanced back to gauge Klavier's reaction, and was relieved to see him actually smiling a bit.
His voice came low and soft, "Because you're the only one who understands."
Apollo wasn't quite sure what to make of that. His first instinct was to ask for clarification, but apparently he was supposed to already know, and he didn't want to make himself look any more foolish than he already had.
He settled for the more ambiguous, "…go on."
Klavier did so with a small, sad smile, "I had nothing but the utmost respect for my brother. When we were growing up, he represented the model I aspired to follow. He was my reason for becoming a prosecutor. Everything I know about law, I learned from him."
With this, Apollo felt that maybe he could understand Klavier's empathy a bit better—he himself had looked up to Kristoph as his mentor, had practically seen him as a sort of father figure. His admiration for Phoenix Wright in his youth had been the initial spark for his career choice, but Kristoph had taught him all the practical knowledge he needed.
"I chose to become a prosecutor because I was obsessed with the ideals of truth and justice, and I wanted to work side by side with my brother in court to uphold them," a small laugh escaped him, "I don't think he ever saw it that way though—he never quite forgave me for not becoming a defense attorney like him. He thought it was petty sibling rivalry."
Klavier titled his head back, face skyward, eyes closed, "I had looked forward to my first case. Everyone around me in law had told me, 'Your first case will always stick with you.'"
He paused and breathed out through his nose. Apollo watched Klavier's eyebrows knit closer together and felt a pinch at his wrist. He closed his hand around his bracelet and felt at a loss for words.
"They were right, of course. For the past seven years, I have looked back on that trial with what I realize now was foolish pride—but also with a sense of overshadowing guilt and uneasiness. I had intended to leave my first trial without any unresolved questions, but my brother left a stain on my first memory of court. It is a burden he has made me carry for seven years."
Apollo stood still, save for the turning of his wrist in his hand. He rubbed at the skin just below his bracelet, mulling over things. The more Klavier spoke, the more he found himself realizing that maybe he did understand how Klavier was feeling.
He couldn't say that leaving the orphanage unadopted hadn't affected him. He didn't feel bitter or anything—the people at the orphanage had truly been kind to him—and he had become a grown adult by the time he had left, after all; he had become independent and fully capable of taking care of himself, thank you very much.
But Kristoph Gavin had afforded him something that he had missed out on growing up. He could barely remember his mother, but even a silhouette in a dream was something compared to absolutely nothing. Kristoph was someone he could look up to, an authority figure he could turn to for guidance, someone he had confided in. Working under Mr. Gavin had felt…good. Nice.
Like what he had imagined having a father felt like.
Apollo had woken up the day of his first trial expecting it to be a day he would never want to forget, but now he wished he could dispel the image of Kristoph's burning gaze of disappointment, the ache he felt whenever he closed his eyes and relived that moment of conviction, as if it were a tattoo branded on the backs of his lids. After that day he had pushed all of it to the back of his mind, but here it was getting ripped out of him again.
"Shit," he brought his thumb and forefinger to the bridge of nose, "I'm supposed to be cheering you up, not getting depressed myself."
"What makes you think you didn't?"
Apollo looked up to find himself face to face with the prosecutor, and (Oh jeez, when did he get that close?)
"Seven years, Mein Forehead, and not one person has been able to drag this darkness out of me," Apollo's spine bristled at the change in salutation, "But you, Justice, you have somehow managed to do what even I could not."
Klavier moved forward even closer and Apollo instinctively edged back a bit, doing his best to relax when two hands were placed squarely on his shoulders.
He mumbled nervously, tongue tied, "No, ah—just, I just followed the evidence…"
"You pursued the truth. It was the single most inspiring performance I have ever seen. And believe me," Apollo could feel the beads of sweat forming around his temple as Klavier leaned in, "that's saying something."
Apollo was suddenly aware of Klavier's hands travelling upward, touching skin all along the way before resting on his face. The way Klavier's fingers only brushed him—just light enough to actually touch—and yet still left hot trails all along the sides of his neck made Apollo shiver.
He meant to actually say this out loud, but something between his brain and his mouth just wasn't connecting. In fact, none of the demands his brain was making seemed to reach any part of his body, otherwise he certainly wouldn't have stood still as Klavier leaned in and—
(Oh, oooh, that's definitelynot European.)
Klavier's lips moved eagerly against his own, but all Apollo managed to do was push at the prosecutor's chest and slur out a weak, "Klavier, no—" before one of the hands on his face slid down and around his shoulders. Apollo's hands ended up crushed between both of their chests as he struggled, which wasn't so easy seeing as how Klavier seemed dead set on…well, he didn't want to think about it in so much detail.
Klavier's mouth began travelling across his jaw line until it met with the corner of his jaw, where he proceeded to moan against Apollo's throat. This, along with the way the sound vibrated along his skin and made it prickle, was what finally made something in his head go click.
"I said STOP."
Before he knew it his fist was colliding with Klavier's jaw and the prosecutor was stumbling back, eyes wide with shock. Apollo was taking deep, fast breathes, fist still shaking in front of him.
Okay, so Klavier had kissed him and, well, um…alright, so that obviously meant, uh…right, so…feelings?
How the hell had this happened?
In his confused stupor, Apollo looked up to see the prosecutor nursing what looked like a blossoming bruise on his jaw.
"Oh jeez!" Apollo exclaimed, forgetting for a moment that he was supposed to be mad at the prosecutor, "I'm sorry!"
Klavier gave him a genuinely surprised look and just stared, and for a moment Apollo was afraid of what might happen—weren't there repercussions for hitting a high ranking member of court?
But then the laughter started.
At first it was soft and sparse, but it quickly grew bigger, like water spreading over a surface. Apollo was speechless—he swore he could see a hinting of tears in the man's eyes.
"Justice—! You're really something else!"
Years later, Klavier would remember this moment and think, (This was how it started). Everyone would make assumptions and ask, "It was you, wasn't it? You completely seduced him." But then he'd have to shake his head and tell them no, that's not how it went at all.
Well, certainly, that came later, but more importantly, in that moment it had been Klavier that fell first.
Apollo would however look back at the memory a little differently. His focal point would instead consist of what he saw and heard in those final moments, the way he saw something come alive in Klavier—or rather, like he'd finally let go of all the parts of himself that had died, all those years ago.
Klavier would later tease him for it, but Apollo would always swear that the laughter he heard that day was the most honest thing he had ever heard. It was the only thing capable of finally silencing Kristoph—amidst the black night, Apollo listened in wonder as the laughter of the younger Gavin drowned out the older, until he was nothing but silence under the pure sound of liberation.