Disclaimer: The characters, items, places etc of the Ace Attorney series are property of Capcom. These objects are used without permission for entertainment only, not for making money. No infringement is intended.
Apollo/Klavier hurt comfort. Intended as a friendship fic, but if you want to see it as more then that works too.
The Rules of Grieving
By Nanaki Lioness
The only thing Apollo could think when he opened Klavier Gavin's closet was that he had never seen so many clothes. He took in the sight in wonder for a moment, before flicking through the organised hangers to find something that looked suitable for the occasion. He kind of wished it would be easy- a sign above a smart looking suit that said 'wear this to your brother's funeral.'
He knew asking Klavier for input would get him no-where. The man in question was sitting on his bed, still wearing silk pyjamas and strumming on a guitar softly. When Apollo had arrived to pick him up, he'd simply sighed wearily and explained for the hundredth time that he would not be attending the funeral.
Apollo wasn't going to let him get away with that. All Klavier had done since his life had begun to fall apart was hide, run away, and bury his head in the sand. It was about time to faced the issue of his brother head on- if he skipped the funeral, he would never do it.
He finally found a tailored black suit and pulled it off the hanger, matching it with a black shirt and tie. The clock on the wall told him they had about half an hour before the service would begin, and the ride was about that long. Somehow he had to convince Klavier to get up, get dressed, and function like a human being in order to get out the door in the next few minutes.
"Get dressed," he said, keeping his voice as calm and neutral.
"I am not attending, Herr Forehead," Klavier replied, not taking his eyes off of his guitar. It was the only words he had spoken since Apollo's arrival, and he had spoken them multiple times.
"For what purpose?"
"To say goodbye to your brother."
"I said goodbye to him the day he admitted to murder, Herr Forehead."
"Just put the damn suit on."
Klavier set the guitar down and leant forward, giving Apollo his best smile. "Make me."
Apollo grinned at that, stalking over and grabbing the hem of Klavier's top. Before Klavier could react, he pulled it up and off of his head. The look on Klavier's face was priceless, and Apollo couldn't help but laugh.
Klavier's exposed chest soon stopped his mirth, however. In the weeks since Kristoph's planned execution had come to light, Klavier had slowly withdrawn into himself until he barely left the house. It seemed he'd forgotten how to cook in that time too, judging by how thin he was looking. Apollo tried to ignore it, picking up the black shirt and holding it out in front of him.
Defeated, Klavier snatched it and slipped it over his shoulders without a word. Satisfied that he had done his job, Apollo left him in peace to change and waited outside the door. He sent a quick text to Phoenix Wright to let him know they might be five minutes or so late, but they would be in attendance, then risked opening the door to check on Klavier.
He was dressed, knotting the tie around his neck while looking in the mirror with a sombre look on his face. Apollo wasn't used to seeing that, thankful when Klavier turned and gave him a smile instead. He soon realised moments later that he shouldn't be thankful at all, because that smile was hiding everything about Klavier right then.
"I came by taxi. Shall I call us one, or are you up for driving?"
"Of course I can drive us," Klavier replied, his voice far too serene for Apollo's liking. It was like he had closed down completely, and all that was left was the shell of Klavier that he was happy to present to the world.
The drive to the chapel was achingly silent. Apollo had no idea what to say, and Klavier offered him no help. The CD player was empty of its usual Gavinners albums, which was no surprise to Apollo, but it meant that not even music could break the tension in the car.
Outside of the chapel gates, some paparazzi had gathered expectantly. Klavier showed his first sign of any negative emotion at their presence, scowling and slipping his shades over his eyes. The moment they got out of the car, they were there- how do you feel today Klavier Gavin, have you forgiven your brother for his atrocious crimes, what do you think about the decision to execute him-
"He isn't talking," Apollo snapped at them as Klavier pulled his guitar from the back seat. They persisted in following them despite Klavier's silence, asking question after question and attempting to block their path. Apollo was glad when they reached the gates, because he could see how hard it was for Klavier to restrain himself from simply punching one of the people pestering them. Hell, he was having trouble not doing that too.
The guard let them through without even asking who they were, shutting the wrought iron gates behind them with a sharp clang once they had stepped inside the chapel grounds.
"Don't they have any dignity?" Apollo seethed, glancing over his shoulder at the media behind the gate. One of them was lining up their camera through the bars, trying to get a shot of them walking towards the chapel. Apollo took it upon himself to ruin their photo with a rather rude hand motion,
"They never do," Klavier replied, his voice still sickeningly calm.
The grounds were empty of people- considering they had arrived late, Apollo presumed they were all inside the chapel already. It was so peaceful and the grounds were beautiful- on any other day, Apollo would have found the walk soothing. There wasn't really anything soothing about the hearse in front of them though, pallbearers waiting patiently with it as they approached. Phoenix stood with one of them, giving Apollo and Klavier a nod in greeting.
"Good to see you could make it," he greeted, his voice quiet against the background of soft jazz music inside the chapel. "We decided to postpone until you arrived."
"How generous of you, Herr Wright," Klavier replied, but his tone was not all that thankful. Phoenix simply gave him a half-smile and entered the chapel, leaving Klavier and Apollo to follow. They didn't though- Klavier simply stared at the pallbearers, who gave him a respectful smile as they busied themselves with opening the back of the hearse.
The coffin inside was shiny black, reflective almost, and bare of any flowers or trinkets. Apollo tugged lightly on Klavier's arm, almost willing him not to think too much about what the coffin contained.
"You're still wearing your sunglasses," he pointed out, finally catching Klavier's attention.
"Ja- is that a problem?"
That was enough for Apollo. If he had to hear that chirpy tone of Klavier's any more, he was going to scream.
"You can't wear sunglasses to a funeral," he hissed, reaching up and snatching them from Klavier's eyes. Klavier blinked at him in surprise, before glaring sharply and attempting to take them back. Apollo responded by dropping them on the floor and crushing them with the heel of his foot, kicking the shards to one side.
"Those were designer," Klavier told him disdainfully.
"You were hiding behind them," Apollo said. "That's all you do, isn't it? You just hide from the things that hurt you, and pretend everything is a-okay!"
"I don't know what expectations you have of me, Herr Forehead, but the only reason I'm standing here is because you made it clear you would drag me here against my will otherwise."
"You don't have to act like you don't care about this. About him."
"Who says I'm acting?" Klavier countered.
Apollo simply dragged him inside the chapel, keeping one hand on Klavier's arm almost as if he were stopping him running away.
The chapel was decorated beautifully, white lilies and yellow daffodils on the edge of the aisle seats and stained glass windows upon the walls. Klavier narrowed his eyes, plucking a lily from a display as they walked and scowling at it.
"Flowers of purity," he hissed before crushing it in his hand. "This is not fitting."
Apollo quickly directed him to a seat in the front row, taking the flower and disposing of it under his chair just as the jazz music cut off and the chapel doors closed. That meant only one thing- Kristoph had arrived.
He made no effort to look as the pallbearers carried the dark coffin through the chapel. Klavier didn't either, keeping his gaze straight forward and maintaining on aura of boredom.
The service itself was nice enough, for such a thing. Klavier continued to be unfazed through the entire thing, much to Apollo's surprise. He stared at the coffin the whole time and stayed seated when they were asked to file out the chapel, waiting for everyone else except Apollo to leave before he finally stood up. Apollo watched him carefully, his jaw almost hitting the floor as Klavier casually jumped up on top of the coffin.
No-one was going to tell Klavier Gavin what to do at his brother's funeral, but Apollo damn well wanted to right then. He knew any words about disrespect would fall on deaf ears though, so he said nothing.
Klavier simply strummed a few notes on his guitar and began to sing softly. Apollo didn't recognise the piece- it was too soft, too sombre, to be anything by the Gavinners. It had Klavier's touch, however, leaving Apollo thinking that he was intruding on a rather private moment. He quickly turned and left, figuring Klavier would leave when he was ready. If he wanted to sit on his brother's coffin and play guitar, well, that was his oddly bizarre choice.
"Is he alright?" Phoenix asked quietly, seeing Apollo's confused demeanour.
"He's playing guitar and singing."
"Oh. Well, that isn't much of a surprise, is it?"
"He's sitting on Kristoph's coffin."
Phoenix chuckled lightly at that. "Don't worry about it. It won't break."
Apollo wasn't worried about the coffin breaking. When he felt it had been a sufficient length of time, he slipped back inside the chapel once more. Klavier had stopped playing guitar- but only because he was beating the side of the coffin with it.
"Gavin!" Apollo exclaimed, running over to Klavier and trying to stop him. "What are you doing?"
"Paying my last respects," Klavier replied in a voice that was far too cheerful to be authentic. "Tschüs, Kristoph."
With that, he flung the wrecked guitar carelessly on top of the coffin and strode straight out of the chapel. Apollo simply stared at the coffin, feeling judged even though it was simply a box with a corpse inside. Hurriedly he turned and left, catching up with Klavier outside. He was already heading back to his car, shrugging off any attempts of conversation from people as he went.
"That was my best guitar," Klavier finally said, once they were inside his car and away from the prying media.
"You probably should have thought about that before you destroyed it," Apollo reasoned, which got him no response beyond a small smirk.
Apollo wasn't sure if there was a wake being held, but he guessed Klavier wasn't planning on attending it if there was since he drove to a nearby bar instead. Apollo had no objections to the idea of a few drinks- funerals were always a heavy occasion, and a couple of shots would soon put his unease at rest.
"You'll have to get a taxi home," Klavier told him once they were parked up and walking towards the bar entrance. Apollo nodded, knowing that was the prosecutor's way of saying he had no intentions of staying sober.
Once inside, the patrons barely gave them a glance as they headed for the bar. Apollo guessed that they were too drunk to realise who Klavier Gavin was, or completely disconnected from rock music. Either option was a possibility.
"Do you drink wine, Herr Forehead?"
"Not normally, no."
"So what do you drink, then?"
Despite what had just transpired, it seemed Klavier still had it in him to flirt shamelessly. Apollo sighed and ignored the innuendo, as well as Klavier's smile as he leaned across to him.
"Cut that out," he said irritably. "I'm not in the mood for your flirtatious notions, Gavin."
"You didn't answer me," Klavier replied with a playful smirk.
"I drink beer, I drink spirits, I drink whatever," Apollo said with a dismissive wave of his hand. Klavier simply smiled at him once more and ordered him some kind of unpronounceable German beer, as well as a bottle of equally unpronounceable wine.
"If you drink too much you may regret it," he warned Klavier as he poured the sparkling red beverage into a wine glass.
"This was Kristoph's favourite wine," Klavier responded shortly, raising the glass in an imaginary toast before bringing it to his lips.
"You're not okay, are you?" Apollo asked softly after a moment of awkward silence.
"I'm as okay as I can be," Klavier assured him. "Funerals are depressing, ja? Even you look despondent."
"You are far too good at deflection, Gavin."
Klavier responded by pouring another glass of wine and giving Apollo his usual dazzling smile. To any onlookers, they probably looked as though they had just come from a wedding, not a funeral.
"Can you quit that?" Apollo hissed. "What is wrong with you? Are you blocking this entire thing out so badly that you don't even realise what just happened?"
"You seem so eager for me to be upset," Klavier said with a sharp sigh. "Of course I know what we just did. Tonight, Kristoph will be cremated and in a few days time we will be scattering his ashes at sea."
"I thought he wanted to be scattered in Germany?"
"I'm sure he'll end up there eventually," Klavier shrugged. "The seas are all connected, after all."
"You- you can't not follow his final wishes!" Apollo yelped in surprise. "That's- that's-"
"You mistake me for someone who cares," Klavier said pointedly. "As much as you want me to, the truth is I don't."
Apollo picked up Klavier's glass of wine and promptly threw it at the prosecutor's face, ignoring the look of surprise he received for the action as he stalked out of the bar. He found a deserted spot in the bar's garden, sitting down and burying his face in his hands.
If Klavier was okay, Apollo had no reason not to be. As it stood, Apollo wasn't okay, and he felt so god damn guilty he could barely stand it. He needed Klavier's approval that it was okay to grieve, it was okay to feel for a murderer, it was okay to feel wretched and want to cry until he had no tears left. But without Klavier's approval he couldn't, and it was eating him alive.
Kristoph had been his mentor. He had been something to Apollo once, and knowing that all that was left of him was a pretty corpse in a shiny black box made something deep inside of him ache and churn. He dug his hands into his eyes, willing the tears not to fall and failing miserably. Death was so final, and there were no happy endings for the people left in its wake.
He had no idea how long he stayed there, sobbing into his hands and ignoring everything around him. All he knew was Klavier Gavin was sitting next to him when he finally looked up, a sad smile on his face and a half-empty bottle of wine in his hands.
"You owe me a new shirt, Herr Forehead," he said evenly.
"You had about a hundred shirts in your closet. You don't need another damn shirt," Apollo responded childishly, furiously trying to dry tears from his cheeks and look nonchalant. Klavier gave him a look that suggested it was futile, signifying he had been sitting there a while and had observed the sorry scene in full.
"Apollo," Klavier finally spoke up, instantly getting his man's attention with the use of his real name. "It's easier to remember him as a cold blooded murderer, ja? When you think about it that way, it's a lot harder to feel sad."
That made far too much sense to Apollo, and he felt a deep pang of sympathy. He'd been so wrapped up in his own need for grief that he'd forgotten what he'd truly set out to do that day- help Klavier deal with his own, even if it was unconventional. Smashing a guitar against someone's coffin was not the act of an emotionally stable person, after all.
"I'm sorry for throwing wine at you," he muttered, feeling rather ashamed of himself.
"I'm sorry for failing to grieve in a manner you understand," Klavier replied ruefully, nailing exactly what Apollo had been thinking about the whole situation in one easy sentence.
One thing Apollo did understand was copious amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach wasn't the best of ideas. The funeral had been mid-afternoon and he'd eaten both breakfast and lunch before leaving- Klavier had admitted to eating nothing at all, and was paying the price for it.
"If the paparazzi could see you now they'd make bank," he said as he held Klavier's bangs out of his face for him, trying not to smirk as he did so. Klavier opened his mouth to respond, but retched and coughed instead. "When you're done throwing up that bottle of wine, perhaps you should get something to eat. When did you last eat, anyway?"
Klavier sat back on his knees, apparently not caring that the bathroom floor was likely repulsive. "Not properly since the execution," he managed to cough out.
Apollo blinked a few times, his mind hazy with alcohol as he mentally traced that back. "Five days?"
"I haven't had an appetite."
Apollo couldn't help but feel that was the worst answer he'd ever heard, but he didn't press it. Instead he pushed the stall door shut as someone else entered the bathroom, cringing as Klavier set his hands on the filthy floor heaving for breath. Apollo absently put a hand on his back, rubbing circles in what he hoped was a comforting manner.
"Feeling better?" He asked when the intruder had left, leaving them alone once more.
"Did you know I went to the execution?"
Apollo hadn't known that. He kept his hand on Klavier's back, aware he was shaking slightly. He had a feeling it wasn't related to nausea this time.
"No," he replied, his voice soft. "You didn't say. Did you go alone?"
"Ja. Kristoph declined any last words. It was a quiet end."
Apollo didn't know what to say to that, so he kept his mouth closed and ears open for Klavier to continue.
"I went to see Daryan after." Klavier's voice was bitter this time. "I don't even know why. Just-" he stopped, his voice catching in his throat. "When I was younger, Daryan was there for me. It seemed like the best place to go. He always knew what to say to make me feel better."
Apollo answered by continuing his small circles on Klavier's back- I'm here, his hand was saying. I'm listening. Please continue.
"Daryan is different these days. He's even more abrasive than he used to be, and he has little patience. He told me that I should have known it was coming, and soon it might be his turn too. I left- I didn't want to hear that."
Apollo knew that deep down, Daryan still meant a lot to Klavier. Even though he was a convicted felon, Klavier just couldn't let the sparks of their friendship smoulder out.
"I don't know why I'm telling you this," Klavier spoke up again. "It doesn't change anything. The Kristoph I know died a long time ago."
"If it helps to talk then I'll listen," Apollo told him quietly.
"I don't know how to feel," Klavier admitted, desperation lacing his voice. "Should I be sad? Should I forgive him in death? Has his life been a worthy payment for his crimes? Did he still love me? What did he really think about me, about my life, or my choices, or- or- or-"
Apollo sighed heavily, finally crouching down next to Klavier and catching his eye. Klavier looked back, blue eyes bright with tears and so heartbroken that Apollo couldn't bear to look.
"Every time I think about it, I get confused," Klavier admitted, closing his eyes so he didn't have to face Apollo. "What is the right way to feel? The media keep asking me about my feelings and I don't know how to answer."
The words stayed in the air- Apollo unsure of how to answer, and Klavier incapable of continuing.
"Trust you," Apollo said with a tiny smile after a moment. "You can't have a breakdown at a funeral like a normal person one. No- you have to have one while kneeling on the dirty floor of a public toilet."
Klavier gave him the smallest of smiles in return as he wiped tears from his cheeks with the back of his hand. "At least no-one else is here to see me this way, ja?"
"There's nothing wrong with not knowing how to feel," Apollo reassured him, laying a hand on Klavier's shoulder as he finally worked out the best thing to say. "It's a complicated situation. There's no right or wrong way to deal with these kinds of things. The only thing you can do is let whatever you do feel come, so you can work through it and eventually find some way of being at peace with this."
"I don't think I'll be completely at peace with the idea of my brother being a murderer, Herr Forehead."
"Maybe not, but he wasn't always a murderer. That's the part you need to come to terms with."
"When did you become so wise?" Klavier asked with a slight smile on his face, finally pulling himself up from the floor. "Danke, Herr Forehead. Perhaps we should call that taxi home now."
"That's probably the best idea you've had all day," Apollo agreed.
"Considering my other ideas included destroying my favourite guitar, I have to agree with you there."
"That's kind-of what I was implying."
"I appreciate your attempt at discretion, Herr Forehead."
Apollo grinned at that while Klavier studied himself in the mirror, washing his hands and face and attempting to make himself look more functional than he was. It had been a horrible, terrible day but somehow he felt that they were ending on a higher note than expected. After all, by the time their taxi arrived, Klavier was back to his usual flirtatious self- only this time, every ounce of it was genuine.
Author's Notes: Apparently I do occasionally dabble in other fandoms. I've posted this at the kink meme as well, so if you see it there then hello anons!
You probably know this from the gratuitous German that tends to follow Klavier in fics, but just in case: Tschüs is an informal way of saying goodbye, like "see you later."