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Apollo didn’t go away too often. He was a perfectionist at heart, so he overworked himself nearly everyday. Which was where Phoenix came in handy, and Trucy of course, but Phoenix could convince him to leave his work for entirely different reasons. Entirely different reasons that would undoubtedly scar Trucy if she ever saw.


This was precisely the reason Phoenix was a little concerned when he woke up and found Apollo wasn’t in bed with him. Not just that, he wasn’t even in the apartment. Trucy was up before Phoenix and confirmed she hadn’t seen him at all that morning.


“Trucy, what are you doing?” Phoenix cocked a brow at his daughter, who furiously shoveled cereal into her mouth.


“I have a math test. Daddy, I’m gonna die.” She replied, not taking her eyes off the book in front of her. Her reply was slightly muffled by the ungodly amount of food in her mouth. Phoenix rubbed her back sympathetically nonetheless.


“You’ll do great sweetie.” She looked up with disbelief painting her features. He grinned at her. She shook her head, but Phoenix definitely saw her smile before she turned back to the book.


“Go look for Polly.” She shooed him off, despite his protests. ‘This is my apartment

Trucy’ apparently wasn’t a valid complaint to her.


Phoenix’s hand dived into his pocket and pulled out his cellphone. He dialed Apollo’s number and waited for it to ring. He sighed in exasperation when he heard it ring in his bedroom. Great , Phoenix thought, he’s gone out without his cellphone again .


Trucy left for school in a hurry and Athena walked through the doors of the agency soon after. She had her usual happy smile on her face, but it dropped when she got a look a Phoenix.


“Boss? Are you… alright?” She looked into his eyes, concern evident in her tone. Phoenix thought himself pathetic for stressing out this much over his boyfriend not being home with him.


“Ah, well… Have you seen Apollo since last night?” He scratched the back of his neck and gave her a strained smile. Somehow her expression dropped more when he did this.


“Uh, no but he did text me late last night to say he’d be a little late.” She explained. Phoenix looked on with confusion. Why’d he text Athena and not me ?


“Thank you, Athena. I’m gonna go out and look for him. I’ll be back in an hour.” He shot her a proper smile before moving towards the exit. She seemed satisfied with his answer and smiled back at him.


Phoenix scratched his head and thought of the places Apollo could be. Depressing as it may be, the only thing that popped right into his head was Clay Terran’s grave. He looked into the graveyard from the wall and saw it was empty. Phoenix pulled out his phone and dialed up the number of Apollo’s closest friend, Klavier Gavin.


“Herr Wright?” Came the retired rockstar’s immediate reply. Phoenix swore he was never so glad to hear his voice.


“Prosecutor Gavin, do you happen to know where Apollo is right now?” Phoenix cut right to the point nonetheless. He had one thing to worry about, and no time for regular conversation.


“Ja, well, last I heard he was visiting Kristoph.” Wait, what ? Apollo Justice, past employee of Kristoph Gavin, was willingly visiting him in prison after making a personal promise to never do so.


“Apparently Kristoph requested him personally, so he decided to go for it.” Klavier explained.


“Thank you, Prosecutor Gavin.” Phoenix hung up without waiting for a reply. Phoenix may not know everything there is to know about Apollo, but he certainly knows that the way Kristoph Gavin treated was less than alright. He had a manipulative personality in general and that seemed ten-fold around Apollo, which was something he sensed even in his first case with Apollo defending him, the way Kristoph seemed to almost threaten Apollo into getting everything perfect.


Kristoph Gavin was perfect in every aspect, which was why Phoenix took immense pleasure in finding flaws and watching him breakdown during his trial. Perhaps that’s where Apollo got his perfectionist tendencies from, from the fear of disappointing his past employer.


Phoenix reached his destination, pushing open the doors and walking towards the visitations room. He eventually got close enough to hear a painfully familiar silky-smooth voice.


“My, my Justice. That’s what you’ve been getting up to recently, yes?”


“You seem to have come undone.” Kristoph had an angry undertone to his voice.

“What do you mean, s-sir?” Apollo stuttered out of nervousness. Phoenix resisted the urge to bust in there and physically carry him out, but he wanted to see how he’d fare alone at first.


“I mean you seem to have lost your touch. A proper employee of mine, past or no - it doesn’t matter, should never lose a case. What do you have to say for yourself?”


“I-I’m sorry sir.”


“Stop stuttering. It’s similar to that ‘I’m fine’ you seem to do so often. It gives people the wrong idea about yourself.” Alright, that was it, Kristoph was going to keep cutting into the poor kid if he didn’t step in now. And to make him feel bad for something he can’t even help, like stuttering, that kind of thing made Phoenix’s blood boil.


“Apollo.” He called from the doorframe. Said young adult looked up in surprise. He opened his mouth and shut it tightly right away. He tried once again but all the came out were choked, raspy apologies and explanations. Phoenix shook his head. He walked over and grabbed Apollo’s arm and began walking him outside.


Phoenix brought him to a more secluded alleyway and Apollo slid down the brick wall. He just really, really needed a breather. Phoenix knelt in front of him, his hands beginning to stroke Apollo’s hair. He wasn’t mad, that was all Apollo needed to know right now. That Phoenix wasn’t mad at him for leaving without an explanation.


“Let’s jus- I want to go home.” Apollo voice came out as nothing but a soft whisper. Phoenix nodded.


“Yeah, I think I’d like another shot at waking up next to you.” He shot Apollo a cheeky grin, which earned him a small smile.