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You're the One that I Want

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“Come on Polly, you have to give it a shot sooner or later!”

Apollo groaned, moving his hand in front of his face to push away the leaflet that was currently being shoved in it.

“Look Trucy, I get that I have to knock out my last humanities course, but musical theater is definitely not my thing.”

“Whatever happened to ‘chords of steel’?”

“You know that’s different!”

The situation was playing out similarly to how it had the last few days in a row. Apollo Justice, aspiring defense attorney, intern at the Wright Anything Agency, and pre-law student… was currently unable to transfer to his next university. Not for bad grades or misbehavior, because Apollo had long outgrown that phase of his life. The real reason was much simpler: Apollo had, in his eagerness to move forward, neglected his mandatory electives until his very last semester. Fortunately, his current college advisor had struck a deal with him, since he was a dedicated student. Unfortunately, that deal entailed a special dual-credit involvement in an arts class of his choosing. Painting? While Apollo may have had an eye for detail, he was absolutely trash at transferring his artistic vision onto canvas. Composition and writing? He wasn’t nearly poetic enough to tell a decent story. His only option left at that point was performing arts, which he originally hadn’t been opposed to (confidence was key in both acting and defending). But the rosters for most of the acting classes had filled up quickly, leaving Apollo with few options.

Musical Theater, Shakespearean Analysis, or Costume Design.

“Well then,” Trucy interrupted his recap of events as she leaned against the back of the bench at People Park, “I hope you like dusty old books and dusty old dressing rooms.”

“Hey,” Apollo cut in, “Shakespeare was a good playwright. It’s just that… some of his metaphors go over my head. That’s all.”

Trucy smiled at him, “And you’ve never used a sewing machine in your life, have you?”

“I’ve also never done dance choreography, or sung anywhere outside of the shower.”

Trucy hummed, tapping her finger against her chin.

“Well… how hard can it be? You don’t even have to have a main role. Maybe you could even get away with doing set design!”

Apollo looked at Trucy carefully.

“Why do you want me to be in musical theater so badly?”

“I just think you’d enjoy it!” Trucy said, clasping her hands behind her back.

“...You’re lying, aren’t you?” Apollo observed, rubbing his wrist below where his bracelet sat. “You’re trying to hide your fidgeting.”

“...Okay, so maybe I have an ulterior motive. But you have to admit, it wouldn’t be as boring as some of the other classes! You can just sit back by the sidelines!”

Apollo frowned.

“So what’s this ulterior motive then?”

“Well,” Trucy began a bit sheepishly, “You share class with that princely guy, don’t you? The one in the band?”

Apollo blinked.

“You mean Klavier Gavin? How do you even know about him?”

“Aside from you occasionally complaining about him at the agency, he’s a real hit with all my friends in my drama class! And one of them who always has the latest gossip said she heard that he was going to be taking the musical theater class too!”

“And his involvement in this class relates to me… how?”

Trucy glanced away, and pointedly said nothing.

“In other words… you want me to talk to him for you.”

“Not that!” Trucy pouted. “That’d be weird! I just… want to have stuff to gossip with my friends about. All I ever hear is your complaining about how cool he thinks he is, and that’s no fun!”

Apollo stared at her blankly.

Trucy stared back.

Eventually, Apollo ran his fingers through his hair with a sigh, and looked away.

“If I say I’ll do it, will you please stop giving me the sad puppy dog eyes every time I mention class?”

“I’ll even pinkie-promise on it!”

As Apollo stuck out his pinkie finger and twined it with Trucy’s, he had a feeling he would be in for a long, long spring semester.


Roughly two weeks later, Apollo wasn’t sure what to expect as he crossed the threshold from the campus courtyard to the theater wing. It was a cold mid-January Monday, colder than it normally got (which was to say, not very) and he regretted not bringing a jacket. But it wasn’t as though he had room to put it in his bookbag, which was already taken up with a pair of hefty textbooks and various writing materials. As he stepped inside the building, a thought occurred to him— Wait. This class is actually taking place in the auditorium. Am I going to have any room to set down my belongings? His thoughts swam in his mind, idly, only interrupted by the sound of chatter as he opened the auditorium door, and hesitantly stepped inside.

There were many more students in the front-and-center section of seats than he’d seen in any of his prior classes; It made sense, sort of, considering the dichotomy of order in a class for civil procedure against the (purported) chaos of a theater class. Still, there were about fifty, if he had to guess. He carefully stepped down the ramp leading to the cluster of students, and chose a seat far enough that he was comfortable, but not too far to be considered isolated. The reality of the situation was that all of the students in the room most likely knew each other, and Apollo had no idea who any of them were.

Well, any of them except…

“Herr Forehead!”

Apollo flinched as one of the students in the row in front of him had turned his head, almost startled to see him.

Of course Trucy had to be right.

“Klavier,” Apollo said neutrally.

And of course, Klavier had to get up from his seat like he was actually excited to see Apollo.

“I must admit, I never expected to see you in a place like this,” Klavier said conversationally, moving so he was sitting only a seat away— A polite distance, he supposed.

“I never expected to see myself in a place like this either,” Apollo murmured, seeing Klavier raise an eyebrow at him. “My, uh, colleague convinced me to take this class.”

He pointedly avoided mentioning the reason why that class in particular.

“Why this class in particular?” Klavier pressed.

Shit.

“Well,” Apollo eventually conceded, “I got so caught up in my studies since I came here that I kept setting aside my electives. This is what I ended up being stuck with.”

Not the whole truth, but not a lie.

“Hm,” Klavier hummed, “That surprises me a little bit. I didn’t think you’d overlook a detail like that.”

Apollo grimaced, and decided to turn the tables.

“So why are you here? Aren’t you already busy with your band and classes?”

Klavier glanced away; “To tell the truth, I—”

Before Klavier could finish his sentence, the sound of heels clicking on the stage, followed by softer shuffling, echoed through the room, causing all attention to fall forward.

On the stage were two women; The first, a woman wearing a long brown dress, gloves, and a head shawl; The second, a woman with a dark blue gown with white ruffles, and a veil covering her mouth. There was a brief moment in which nothing was said, not by students nor… whoever was on the stage. Apollo gulped.

“Good afternoon,” The woman in brown spoke. “I understand you were all expecting Mr. Powers to be your mentor for this class, but unfortunately, he is unavailable for this semester. In his stead, I am going to be overseeing the acting portion of this class for the semester. My name is Dee Vasquez, and you will refer to me as Ms. Vasquez at all times.”

After a short pause, the woman in blue spoke as well; “You may call me Lamiroir. I will oversee the musical portion of this class. That is all…”

Apollo furrowed his brows, tempted to ask questions— Why was the other teacher only called Lamiroir? Was that a stage name?— but thought better of it at the last moment.

“For this class,” Ms. Vasquez continued, “Your schedule will be rigorous. You will almost certainly have to spend time outside of class practicing, in addition to group meetings on scheduled evenings as the semester continues on. If you are to be prepared for the world of theater, you must understand the way a theater troupe works. You will be starting on your projects immediately; Consider today to be your first and final warning. If you are not prepared, leave.”

Apollo tried not to let the intimidation show on his face as the other woman— Lamiroir— passed out small packets of paper for the syllabus.

“Not all of you will have what it takes to be a lead actor or a supporting role,” Ms. Vasquez finished, “And for such a large class, we will accommodate everyone’s individual needs. However… this will not excuse you from tryouts.”

Apollo glanced at Klavier, who seemed completely at ease. It figured, considering the man was a natural performer and used to the kind of pressure that Ms. Vasquez was setting forward. It almost made Apollo envious; He’d have to practice his Chords of Steel before the next class on Wednesday, based on the syllabus.

The rest of class that day was somewhat less stress-inducing; The students went over the syllabus and class schedule, with Apollo finding some relief that he didn’t necessarily have homework like his other classes required. After the syllabus reading, they were informed that more details of what they’d be auditioning for would be available on Wednesday, and auditions would be on Friday. Over the weekend, students would receive an email detailing which parts they had received, and what steps to move forward with. It all sounded relatively straightforward, and the class was adjourned nearly a half-hour early.

Although he wouldn’t want to admit it out loud, Apollo had hoped to seek out Klavier after the session was over. Klavier was the only person in the class that Apollo was familiar with beyond a passing glance, and he had figured it would be best to bite the bullet and ask Klavier what more he could expect from the class (Ms. Vasquez had a no-nonsense air about her that Apollo knew he wouldn’t be able to directly confront yet.) Unfortunately, Klavier was busy discussing something-or-other with a girl in pink goggles, and Apollo wasn’t quite eager enough to make himself too familiar.

Please, whatever deity exists, don’t let me regret this decision.

(Later on at the agency, when Apollo revealed to Trucy that Klavier was indeed part of the class, he repeated the plea in his head.)


Wednesday came faster than Apollo had wanted.

After his usual morning routine at his apartment, a review of his coursework for his Academic Legal Writing class, and a brief stop by the Wright Anything Agency to update Mr. Wright on his progress on document analysis, Apollo had grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the campus auditorium once again.

As he sat down at one of the seats (the same seat he’d taken last time, as the unspoken university rule of claimed seats dictated), he was soon greeted by the sight of Klavier… sitting in the same spot near Apollo that he’d claimed at the beginning of the week as well.

It wasn’t as though Apollo hated Klavier or anything, no, Klavier simply… rubbed him the wrong way. And the fact that he was able to act so carefree and composed all the time, maybe even cool, was something irritating, similar to an itch that refused to go away no matter how many times he scratched. He almost felt a bit guilty, since it wasn’t really Klavier’s fault. But the guilt cleared itself quickly.

“Is there something wrong?”

Apollo blinked, and belatedly realized he’d been staring at Klavier with what Trucy had once jokingly called his ‘bug-eyed face’.

“No,” Apollo said, snapping out of his trance, and decided to shift the subject away from himself. “On Monday, I remember asking you about why you were here. Can you tell me now?”

Klavier pursed his lips, and Apollo could swear he almost looked… embarrassed?

“Ja… The story, well, it’s not very much to talk about. One of my bandmates, Daryan, dared me to take the class since I had more free time in my schedule this semester. Something along the lines of… ‘I’m too chickenshit to follow someone else’s lead.’ I wanted to prove him wrong.”

Apollo nearly snorted at Klavier’s indignant use of the word ‘chickenshit’, and shook his head.

“I guess we’ll see who’s right.”

“Herr Justice, are you teasing me?” Klavier said, traces of amusement audible in his voice.

“Good afternoon,” Ms. Vasquez greeted the class, her heels clacking on the stage once again, and Apollo turned away, grateful for the distraction.

“Today, we’ll be doing signups, and reviewing some music and scenes for our upcoming project. This will take the entire class period— Monday was your respite. Today, things get serious.”

Lamiroir stepped closer to Ms. Vasquez, and cleared her throat.

“How many of you are familiar with the musical Grease? Please raise your hands so Ms. Vasquez can see them.”
A large portion of the class raised their hands; Slowly, hesitantly, Apollo raised his as well. He’d seen bits and pieces of the movie version, but he wasn’t very fond of the message it seemed to portray.

Wait.

Please, don’t tell me…!

“Good, good,” Ms. Vasquez said, almost boredly. “Then most of you will be useful in auditioning for this year’s musical.”

Damn it.

Apollo glanced at Klavier, who as always, seemed unruffled. Apollo didn’t want to imagine what he himself looked like in comparison.

“We’ll be reviewing some of the script sections and songs today,” Lamiroir continued, not even watching as Ms. Vasquez retrieved a small remote from her handbag, “Which will let you familiarize yourselves with some of the contents, if you don’t know them already. During the audition process, you will choose a character and a song that the character sings. This will not be your final casting role, should you be cast; This is merely to gauge your technical skills. As such, there are some characters who are not included in the listings. At the end of class, a clipboard will be passed around. Please sign up for an empty time slot during the class period, during which we will view your audition.”

Apollo frowned, watching as Lamiroir slowly retrieved more hand-out packets from off-stage, and passed them to the students. Upon receiving his, Apollo looked at the list of potential audition roles.

  • Danny- ‘Sandy’
  • Sandy- Hopelessly Devoted to You
  • Doody- Those Magic Changes
  • Vince- Born to Hand Jive
  • Teen Angel- Beauty School Dropout
  • Rizzo- Worse Things I Could Do

He quickly glanced at Klavier, who was slowly beginning to grin.

“Let me guess,” He said, quietly enough that only Klavier could hear him, “You’re gunning for Danny’s role?”

“Natürlich”

Apollo pursed his lips wryly, and looked over the small sections of script. There wasn’t really anything that stuck out to him in terms of character, at least not that he could immediately identify with just words on paper. He’d have to do more research on that later in the evening.

After the handouts were received, Ms. Vasquez and Lamiroir talked a bit about the history of the musical, then proceeded to do a small demonstration of what the audition would entail. Later, the remote that Ms. Vasquez had retrieved came into play; The speakers in the auditorium began to play several melodies, snippets of songs that would be used in the auditions. There was a window of time for students to ask questions about the auditions, and then Lamiroir proceeded to talk about the rest of the production’s requirements. Finally, the clipboard with the time slots was passed around, and Apollo glanced over it for a moment before deciding on 3:10.

Shortly after, class was dismissed, and Apollo heaved a sigh of relief. He knew he was going to have a busy evening ahead of him, and he briefly wondered how he was going to fit in a decent meal that wasn’t takeout (again) into his schedule, when his thoughts were interrupted.

“Herr Forehead!”

Is he ever going to get tired of calling me that? Apollo wondered, and squashed down the thought; There were certainly worse things he could be called.

Klavier strode up to him, with the ever-present bright smile still on his face.

“Have you thought on what you wanted to do for your audition?” Klavier asked.

Apollo paused to think; “Not really. I didn’t really see any roles that I’d be interested in. Besides, I was hoping to be part of the ensemble, or set design, or… anything else, really.”

Klavier’s smile dropped into surprise.

“That’s no good. You usually put your heart into your studies, that much is evident from our law classes we’ve shared over the years. I admire that tenacity and I hope you won’t think of this any differently.”

Apollo blinked.

“That’s… not what I was expecting you to say, but okay, I guess.”

“Just give it some thought. I’d love to talk more about it with you, but I do have a full night tonight.” A pause, and then, “Though if you’d like to talk sometime next week, I’d be more than happy to discuss it over dinner.”

Apollo didn’t even have to check his face to know that it was turning a bit red.

How can this guy just say that so easily?

“I’ll think about it.”

“Then that’s good!” Klavier smiled again, and headed off with a wave.

(The brief thought that Klavier was being sincere made Apollo feel something he couldn’t quite recognize.)


FROM: Apollo
Do you know anything about the musical Grease?

FROM: Trucy
Daddy won’t let me watch it, but I’ve heard a little bit about it!

FROM: Apollo
I need advice.

FROM: Trucy
From me? :D !!!

FROM: Apollo
I just can’t decide on what a good practice role would be. Here’s what the script looks like.

FROM: Apollo
[3 IMAGES SENT]

FROM: Trucy
How about the role from that sarcastic-sounding character? Rizzo?

FROM: Apollo
...Rizzo is a girl.

FROM: Trucy
So what? It looks like it would be a good fit for you!

FROM: Apollo
Am I really that aggressive?

FROM: Trucy
:0

FROM: Apollo
...Okay, so I can kind of see why you’d think of that. I guess it’s better than trying to be Danny.

FROM: Trucy
LMK how the show goes! I think you’ll do great!

FROM: Apollo
Thanks.

FROM: Trucy
:)


When Friday rolled around, Apollo could practically feel his stomach rolling. He had practiced his chords of steel in the morning, listened to the song he would be assigned to sing on repeat until he felt like he could remember the tunes with relative ease, told himself he’d be fine, and yet somehow, even Mr. Wright could tell he was nervous.

“Relax, Apollo. The worst that can happen is you don’t get a role,” He’d told him in the morning.

Apollo didn’t have the heart to correct him.

He paced outside the auditorium’s entry hall, only the muffled sound of music from the inside’s speakers occasionally playing. Classmates filtered in and out of the room, some looking confident, others not so much. Apollo checked the time on his phone: 3:09 PM.

He took a deep breath, and approached the door to the auditorium, nearly being smacked in the face as it opened suddenly. He watched as the girl he’d seen Klavier talking to on Monday— Ema was her name, apparently— exited with a mild huff, fishing through her bookbag for… a small package of some sort of snack food.

“Good luck in there,” Ema said in-between bites, and it took Apollo a moment to register that she was actually talking to him.

“Uh… Thanks.”

Well, here goes nothing.

Apollo stepped into the auditorium, closing the door behind him and walking down the ramp. He wasn’t sure if it was reassuring or not to have an audience of his classmates present; On the one hand, it meant that there would only be his teachers to judge him. On the other hand, it meant that their scrutiny would be that much more intense. He nearly smacked his cheeks to pull himself out of his thoughts. He might not have the confidence or skill of one particular classmate, but the words he’d said stuck with Apollo.

I admire that tenacity.

Without registering it, he had managed to make his way to the stage, his script in hand as Ms. Vasquez and Lamiroir sized him up.

“So, Apollo Justice? Is that correct?” Ms. Vasquez asked in a monotone voice.

“Yes, that’s me,” Apollo said.

Lamiroir was the next to speak; “Which role will you be reading from today?”

Apollo hesitated.

“Rizzo.”

Lamiroir looked at him with surprise, and Ms. Vasquez, if it was possible, wore a somewhat amused expression.

After an awkward moment of silence, Lamiroir continued.

“So we’ll be going over a line from scene twelve, and then you’ll be performing her song. Ms. Vasquez will read from the rest of the script, and you’ll read Rizzo’s lines. We have the speakers set up to play the music. Do you have any questions?”

Apollo shook his head no, and forced himself to relax his shoulders.

Ms. Vasquez cleared her throat.

“Hey, Rizzo. I hear you’re pregnant.”

Apollo put a dry smile on his face, and a hand on his hip.

“Oh, you do, huh? Boy, good news really travels fast!”

“Hey, listen, why didn’t you tell me?”

“Don’t worry about it Kenickie,” Apollo waved his hand dismissively and tisked, “You don’t even know who the guy is.”

“What? Thanks a lot, kid.

Tough luck, Rizzo.

Listen, Rizz, I could help you out with some money if you need it.”

Apollo scoffed and lowered his eyelids.

“Forget it, I don’t want handouts.”

The exchange of lines continued on for another minute. Ms. Vasquez delivered her last line for the audition, and Apollo braced himself for the planned outburst.

“Now wait just a minute, miss goody-goody!”

The sound echoed through the room, and Apollo was almost startled by how powerfully the statement had fallen from his lips.

“Who do you think you are? Handing me all this sympathy trash! Since you know all the answers, how come I didn’t see Zuko here tonight?”

He narrowed his eyes, and pointed a finger forward.

“You just listen to me, Miss Sandra Dee.”

Lamiroir pressed a button on her remote, and the sound of a mellow piano began to play. Apollo closed his eyes.

“There are worse things I could do,
Than go with a boy or two,
Even though the neighborhood
Thinks I’m trashy and no good,
I suppose it could be true…
But there are worse things I could do.”

A mellow saxophone accompanied the piano shortly after, and as Apollo continued to sing, he felt a strange stirring inside him. It hadn’t really occurred to him during the repeated listenings of the song, but the emotions, though not the subject of the song, were something that rang unfortunately true within him. For one single, lucid moment, he realized he didn’t care about the quality of his voice as much as he thought he would. Sure, he wasn’t a pretty-boy lead singer for a rock band, but he had something, damn it, and he wasn’t going to let himself be inhibited for the sake of a role that he hadn’t even imagined seeing himself in until then.

“I could hurt someone like me,
Out of spite or jealousy,
I don’t steal and I don’t lie,
But I can feel and I can cry,
A fact I’ll bet you never knew,
But to cry in front of you…
That’s the worst thing I could do.”

As the music faded, Apollo let out a heavy breath, feeling his shoulders slump after the exertion and now-gone rush of clarity.

Two pairs of hands offered quiet applause.

“Thank you for your performance, Mr. Justice,” Lamiroir said, sounding surprisingly honest.

“We’ll review our notes and let you know about your part before Monday,” Ms. Vasquez added. “Now if you’ll step outside, we have other students to attend to.”

Apollo nodded, and swallowed thickly as he stepped off the stage and out of the auditorium.

What just came over me? I wasn’t even interested in performing. So then… why do I feel like this?


Apollo almost regretted working on weekends at the Wright Anything Agency. It was an internship, so he wasn’t really and truly required to do so, but he knew he’d never be able to balance out his school life, his work life, and his private life if he didn’t make any compromises.

“So,” Trucy hummed, spinning her magician’s hat on her finger, “How do you think you did?”

Apollo squirmed slightly, looking over the forms Mr. Wright had asked him to file.

“I… don’t know. There wasn’t really any way for me to tell what they were thinking, since Ms. Vasquez is unreadable and Lamiroir is sort of soft-spoken.”

“Well, you should be getting an email soon about what role you got, right?”

“If I even got one—” Apollo started before he was interrupted by the ping of his cell phone.

An email sent to his student account from Dee Vasquez.

Speak of the devil…

Apollo glanced at Trucy, then to his phone, took a deep breath, and opened his email.

There was a short, precursory paragraph about a personalized follow-up email and the details of future meetings for class, followed by a list of the roles that had been assigned.

Apollo scanned through the list, looking for his name as Trucy looked over his shoulder.

“Ooh, Klavier got the role of Danny!”

Apollo let out a quiet huff of laughter.

“Did you expect anything else?”

Trucy paused, looking at the phone screen with wide eyes.

“Well, I definitely wasn’t expecting that!”

Suddenly, Trucy pointed to a listing on the email.

Apollo nearly collapsed after reading it.

Apollo Justice - Sandy.

Chapter Text

The words were right there, in plain lettering.

Apollo blinked once, twice, thrice, and tried to convince himself that he was just seeing things.

“How did you end up getting the lead female role?” Trucy asked after several moments of stunned silence. “You didn’t even audition for it!”

“How am I supposed to know?” Apollo asked at a normal volume (which would have been much louder had he not felt like he had begun to astrally project.) “I’m… I’m not even a girl!”

“They’re going to have to change the script a lot… unless, you’re going to cross-dress?”

Yup, that was definitely Apollo’s soul leaving his body.

Shortly after, another email notification pinged on his phone. Apollo ignored it in favor of sitting down on one of the agency’s couches and staring wide-eyed at nothing for a few moments. He barely registered the sound of the door to the agency opening.

“Hey Trucy, do you know if… Ah, what’s going on here?”

Apollo glanced to the side, where Mr. Wright was looking at the two of them with a mixture of concern and amusement, two plastic grocery bags in hand.

Trucy turned to look at him, and slowly but surely, a wide grin broke across her face.

“Daddy! Polly got a lead role in the musical!”

Phoenix tilted his head, the corners of his lips quirking into a smile, and said, “Well now, that’s surprising. I didn’t know you had it in you, Apollo!”

“Wait, Trucy, you told him about my class?”

“Actually, I figured it out by myself,” Phoenix shrugged. “You almost left your syllabus for the class here, by the way.” He chuckled a bit, and asked, “So what musical is it? Hopefully not Cats, that one is terrible.”

“He’s in Grease!” Trucy beamed.

“Oh, wow, you got the role of Sandy?” Phoenix joked.

Apollo groaned, placing his head in his hands and adding nothing more as he tried to fight off what was surely a deep scarlet blush.

“...Oh, now that’s an interesting twist,” Phoenix hummed after the realization dawned on him. “How are they going to work around the fact that you’re a male?”

“I don’t know, but I’m still not sure this isn’t just one big fever dream,” Apollo said, somewhat sourly. “I just know I’m gonna get all kinds of jabs for this if it’s true.”

“I’m sure it won’t be that bad,” Trucy tried to reassure him. “That just means you’re so talented that you get to be a lead even though you’re not a girl!”

“Talented? Me? At singing and acting?” Apollo said in disbelief. “Come on, this has to be a joke. Or a typo.” He paused, and reached for his phone again. “That must be it. I’ll send Ms. Vasquez an email telling her that she made a mistake.”

“Just don’t forget about the forms that need to be filed!” Phoenix called out, exiting to the kitchen to put away whatever was in the grocery bags.

Apollo cringed, and checked his phone, only to remember the second email that he’d received.

When he read it, he buried his face in one of the couch pillows.

(So much for mistakes.)


Apollo,

As you may notice, we have cast you for the role of ‘Sandy’. While we know this is unorthodox, Ms. Vasquez and I have found that of all of the auditions, yours was most suited to the character. We were thoroughly impressed by the range of emotion and strength of your voice, alongside your willingness to take up a non-conventional role. The board has been given special permissions to modify parts of the production to accommodate this change. The modified version will be provided on Monday after the class overview. We firmly believe this is a choice that will benefit the production and spark interest in the university’s theatre beyond art students, and we look forward to seeing what you provide.

Regards,
Lamiroir.


Monday, once again. Apollo hesitated as he reached out to the auditorium door; Surely his classmates had seen the listings, and he had no idea how any of them were going to take it. But there was no point in delaying the inevitable. Maybe he could convince the teachers to let him switch roles during their office hours, or really, anything but playing the lead. His conviction grew when he entered the auditorium to hear the occasional quiet huff of laughter or whisper; Apparently, college life was no exception for that sort of thing. He frowned as he approached his seat, and glanced at the one particular student accompanying it.

“So,” Apollo said, a bit awkwardly, “I have no idea how this is going to work out.”

Klavier regarded him carefully.

“I have to say, I wasn’t expecting you to get the role, unless you were secretly holding out an amazing voice on us behind those… what do you call them, chords of steel?”

Maybe I need to stop referring to them, Apollo thought with no small degree of embarrassment.

“You’re full of surprises, though,” Klavier continued. “Maybe you’ll even surprise me at some point.”

Apollo’s bracelet didn’t act up.

He was being honest.

“So you don’t have any problems with me being cast as a lead with you?” Apollo asked skeptically.

“Provided you’re taking this seriously… Why would I?”

“I don’t know, wouldn’t it be kind of awkward? I mean, we’re not exactly…” Friends, Apollo briefly thought, but pushed the word out of his mind, “Familiar with each other. I haven’t even been to one of your concerts.”

And I’m not sure if I could enjoy one anyway, he also thought, but didn’t say aloud.

“You know, my offer for dinner still stands.”

“Do you even have time for that in-between your band practice and homework and now this?”

Klavier looked pensive for a moment.

“I’m sure I’ll be able to handle it.”

Apollo watched him carefully, but said nothing.

He really does believe it. How is he supposed to be so cool?!

He tried not to dwell on it too much as Ms. Vasquez and Lamiroir stepped on stage, and class began.

Lamiroir was the first to speak; “I hope you’ve all checked your student emails over the weekend. In the event that you haven’t, we’ve posted a listing of the cast and crew on the student site.”

Apollo bit the inside of his cheek as Lamiroir and Ms. Vasquez continued relaying the information they’d sent out over the weekend regarding initial setup, script readings, and additional after-hours meetings. He listened with half-interest, and forced himself to relax, muttering to himself several times; “I’m Apollo Justice, and I’m fine.”

“Mr. Justice, is there a problem?”

Apollo blinked as he looked at Ms. Vasquez, who was leveling him with an unimpressed stare.

“That’s...” Apollo started, and frowned, “I was wondering, how exactly am I supposed to play the part of Sandy if I’m… well, I’m not a girl.”

Lamiroir glanced away for a second.

“We’ve made some considerations for the change of leads,” She started carefully; “While we’ve been allowed to cast you in the role, we don’t have the creative permissions to change the script. You will, at least in theory, still be acting as Sandy.” A pause, and then, “However, for your consideration, we have been given some allowances in regards to wardrobe, among a few other details that will be discussed one-on-one as the semester continues.”

While it wasn’t exactly what Apollo wanted to hear, it was relieving to know he wouldn’t have to shave his legs or stuff a bra. He was still sorely wanting to ask if there was something, anything he could do to get recast, but he had a sinking feeling his complaints would fall on deaf ears.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, he tried reasoning, Maybe I’ll have fun… Yeah, okay, that didn’t sound convincing even to myself.

The rest of class passed by in a sort of haze, one that Apollo was able to keep up with, but didn’t really understand the depth of.

When he rose from his seat in the auditorium after dismissal, he wandered up the aisle and exited, only to find himself standing in the middle of the theater hall. He let his gaze skim the walls; Posters and photos of student productions, alongside alumni portraits, clippings from newspaper articles, all framed and organized neatly. He’d never really been around the area enough to notice all of the finer details, but if there was anything to be said, it was much more visually appealing than the student library or the lecture rooms he frequented.

“Hey, you. Mr. Justice, guy who’s playing Sandy.”

Apollo turned his head when he realized he was being called for, only to see Ema standing before him.

“Can I help you…?” He asked carefully.

“Yeah, actually, you can,” Ema said impassively. “You’re planning on being a lawyer, right? Working at the Wright Everything Agency?”

“Anything, not Everything,” Apollo corrected.

Ema waved dismissively; “Anyway, I overheard a glimmerous little birdie saying you were in the same boat as I am, where we both put off our electives too much. I’m working outside of this department too, and I figured if you needed someone to commiserate with, I’d be willing to help.”

Apollo raised an eyebrow, somewhat surprised.

“What are you studying to be?”

Ema looked at him with a prideful expression.

“A forensic scientist.”

“That’s… well, I can’t really say anything considering we’re in the same position,” Apollo admitted.

“I’m going to be one of the lighting technicians for the production, so I’ll be seeing you around, at some point,” Ema said, pivoting on her heel to walk away. She paused after a few steps, and looked behind her. “You’re going to be either the best or worst Sandy. Either way I’m sure it’ll be funny.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Apollo said dryly, and exited in the opposite direction.

(It only occurred to him as he was heating up a microwave meal later that night— He was Sandy, and Klavier was Danny.)

(As if he didn’t have to deal with enough faux flirting already.)


Apollo flipped through his notes, idly capping and uncapping one of his pens as he processed the words in his textbook and jotted them down. The library was quiet on Tuesday afternoons, which was the perfect opportunity for him to catch up on his classwork without disruption.

Considering alternative explanations for disparities (example: Ring v. Arizona)... Inferences of diversity based on population in relation to amount of homicides…

Apollo wasn’t surprised that the textbook for his class was over 300 pages long, but god if it wasn’t excruciating to look at paragraph upon paragraph of 12-point Times New Roman and somehow be expected to absorb every single detail. He grimaced, and set his book aside; He’d already been in the library for longer than he should have been, and was starting to get a crick in his neck from staring down at the text for so long. After a few moments of stretching and rolling his neck (with a few satisfying pops), he packed up his belongings and started to exit the library.

He was tempted to kick back relax when he got back to his apartment, but he knew there was still work to be done, if not the type that involved legal jargon and excessive note-taking.

With that thought in mind as he returned to his bike, he made the trek home.

With the syllabus and schedule for the musical in mind, Apollo had decided he’d want to re-familiarize himself with some of the musical numbers. It was one thing to figure out how to act while reading a script, but something entirely different to understand the tune and tone of a song.

Fortunately, he was able to find a playlist on youtube, and as he idly thought about what to do for dinner, he listened, and tried to put himself in the place of the female lead.

Summer lovin’, had me a blast,
Summer lovin’, happened so fast,
Met a girl crazy for me…
Met a boy, cute as can be…

Apollo placed his hands on the counter, slightly swaying his head back and forth to the rhythm, letting himself get lost in the sound for just a few moments. Now this, unlike the music Apollo had heard Klavier occasionally sort out with some of his bandmates around campus, was something that Apollo found himself enjoying the sound of. Maybe he was too old-spirited for a college student (no doubt that Trucy and Mr. Wright would agree), but at least he could use the excuse that the musical was too popular for most people not to like.

He got friendly holding my hand...
She got friendly down in the sand...
He was sweet, just turned eighteen...
She was good, you know what I mean...

Apollo blinked, and furrowed his brows. He didn’t remember the lyrics being quite that… lascivious.

And… Oh god, he and Klavier would be singing them together.

Curse the man’s frustrating ability to make Apollo’s face go red without even being there.

As the song switched from “Summer Nights” to “Those Magic Changes”, Apollo wondered if he could ask the makeup team for something to cover his unfortunate habit.


Wednesday rolled around, and with it, came part of the ‘First Rehearsal’. Apollo knew that this would simply be the cast reading from the scripts for the play, and being given the occasional stage direction. From then on, the class would be ‘blocked’ to find equilibrium between the music choreography and the stage acting for the upcoming practice weeks, during which the students who weren’t cast in roles would be working with different staff members to fill in the gaps (Apollo watched with mild interest as Ema met the lighting director, a skittish man whose hair looked oddly like cinnamon rolls). Lamiroir and Ms. Vasquez would still be overseeing the main production, but as more and more roles and staff and assistants were introduced, Apollo wondered if he had gotten in over his head.

Then again, if I want to transfer on time… it’s not really like I can back out of this.

Eventually, for the latter half of the class, it was time for Apollo to step up. It felt a little bit weird for the cast to be split into the two sides of the stage with Apollo being the only male on a side full of girls, but when faced with the directions of the two teachers, unyielding, nobody had any time to dwell on it, a fact that Apollo was peripherally thankful for. The three girls he’d be acting with— Regina, Olga, and Alita, if he was remembering correctly— shot him odd looks, which he pointedly ignored.

As “Grease is the Word” played in the background, all actors on stage were told where to stand and where to move to.

And finally, as the music faded…

“Jeez, I wish it was still summer,” Regina pouted, looking at her script, and the scene began.

Apollo watched as the female cast at stage right read through their lines, followed by the male cast at stage left. Apollo glanced at Klavier across the stage, both obscured by the side curtains. Klavier shot him a curious (and amused) look, which Apollo pursed his lips in response to, unable to do much else since his cue was coming up.

He stepped forward.

“Hi there Jan,” He said, toning down his voice a bit into something amiable.

“Oh hey there,” Regina smiled at him, and turned to Alita as she gestured to Apollo. “This is Frenchy’s new neighbor, Sandy Dumbrowski.” She then gestured to Alita, and continued, “This here’s Rizzo.”

“Hi,” Apollo said, tilting his head a bit and smiling just the slightest bit. “Pleased to meet you.”

“How do you like school so far?” Regina asked.

“Oh, it seems real nice,” Apollo responded, mock-shyly. “I was supposed to go to Immaculata, but my father had a fight with the Mother Superior over my patent leather shoes.”

“What do you mean?” Alita said, placing the hand that wasn’t holding her script on her hip.

“Well, she said the boys could see up my—” Apollo hesitated for a moment, tempted to adlib, “—dress in the reflection.”

A snicker or two came from the students assigned to the ensemble, but were quickly silenced by Ms. Vasquez.

“No hesitation next time, Justice,” She called out in her monotone voice, and made a vague hand gesture for the scene to continue.

As the rest of the class period continued, with Ms. Vasquez (often) and Lamiroir (less often) making comments and giving stage directions, the actors managed to get halfway through scene four, sans musical numbers. After dismissal blessedly came around, Apollo was almost surprised at how exhausted the class had left him, and they hadn’t even worked on singing or choreography yet. And yet, somewhere in the monkey-brained part of his mind, he felt a strange set of accomplishment. Being cast as a lead in a musical, though still surprising and daunting, was a change of pace from his usual school routine. And while he wasn’t sure how welcome it was, he couldn’t say he was bored with it.

“You did well today, Herr Forehead.”

Here he is again.

“Thanks,” Apollo said.

Klavier looked him up and down, apparently trying to settle on something to say.

“I’m looking forward to hearing what you’ll sound like when we start the singing block on Friday. Let’s see if you’re really ready to rock.”

Apollo raised an eyebrow, defiant.

“Do you think I can’t keep up?”

Klavier laughed and shook his head.

“Nein. Of course not. I’m just hoping you’re prepared to give it your all. I’m sure Lamiroir wouldn’t be the only one disappointed if you aren’t.”

Apollo bit back a scowl, and was about to reply with what would definitely have been a witty and impressive comeback, if Klavier hadn’t reached out to poke the space between his eyebrows, leaning closer.

“I’m just teasing you. I have the highest hopes that you’ll blow us all away.”

Apollo stared at him blankly.

“You’d better remember that.”

Klavier straightened back up, and put his hands in the pockets of his ridiculous pants.

“I assure you, I will.”


When Apollo stepped into the auditorium on Friday, somewhat weary from staying up a little bit too late the previous night, he glanced at the stage, and grimaced. On stage right, a keyboard sat innocuously on its stand.

At downstage left, Lamiroir was speaking to someone who looked suspiciously like a child, with a strange swirly blonde bowl-cut and sunglasses. Apollo couldn’t quite understand what they were saying— it sounded like an entirely different language. Interesting. Throughout the rest of the auditorium, clusters of the other actors could be seen chattering; Apollo wasn’t quite sure where he’d end up fitting in aside from the rest of his “group”, and even then, it was a bit dubious. But then, he remembered Klavier’s almost condescending conversation with him two days prior. So he walked forward, joining in with Regina, Olga, and Alita.

As soon as the clock struck one, Lamiroir stopped talking to the child(?), who then walked toward the keyboard.

“Good afternoon,” Lamiroir said, and all gazes floated to her. “For today’s block, we’ll be doing a few vocal exercises, and working on some of the songs for the scenes we went through yesterday.” She paused, and gestured to the boy at the keyboard. “This is my musical assistant, Machi Tobaye. He will be aiding us as we continue.”

Machi gave a little wave, and said, “Pleased to be meeting you,” in a heavy accent.

“Now,” Lamiroir motioned, “If you could all step up to the stage and line up, main cast in front, and ensemble behind, we can begin the exercises.”

At that point, the rest of his classmates had started to line up, and Apollo stepped up onto the stage, ending up near the far end of the line. Machi played a small arpeggio.

Lamiroir spoke; “For each student, starting from the end closest to me, we’ll be doing a simple scale, forward and backward. Machi will be waiting for you to cue that you are ready. Like so,” She paused, and nodded at Machi, who set his hands on the keys.

“Do re mi fa so la ti do,

Do ti la so fa mi re do.”

Apollo blinked; He hadn’t heard Lamiroir sing up until that point, but now he was beginning to understand why she had been chosen to be the music director for the production.

She gestured to the student closest to her, who hesitated for a few moments, before looking at Machi, and nodding.

“Do re mi fa so la ti do…”

Lamiroir looked pensive, and Apollo wondered what exactly she was thinking.

“You’re not quite singing from your diaphragm. Can you try again please?”

One by one, Apollo’s classmates proceeded with their exercise. With dry interest, Apollo watched as Klavier sang his part.

Naturally impressive… But that’s when he’s not singing about making out behind the prosecutor’s desk.

Soon enough, it was his turn. Apollo took a steadying breath, and looked at Machi.

“Do re mi fa so la ti do,

Do ti la so fa mi re do.”

Apollo opened his eyes, not even registering that he’d closed them until after the fact. He looked at Lamiroir, who nodded with a satisfied hum, and moved on to the next student. Apollo was almost tempted to ask if there was anything he needed to improve on, but decided against it in favor of taking a look at Klavier.

Klavier stared back, looking at Apollo as if he’d grown a second head.

Apollo let the corners of his lips quirk slightly.

What were you saying about being ‘ready to rock’ again?

The rest of the vocal practices went well, at least as far as Apollo could tell, and soon enough, it was time to move on to the beginnings of the songs and choreography. Starting with ‘Summer Nights’ was the first and most obvious choice, since it didn’t involve much dancing; From behind the stage curtains, Machi and Lamiroir retrieved a set of chairs for Apollo and Klavier to sit on, and Lamiroir carefully instructed their movements (most of which consisted of swaying back and forth to the beat as they sat, at least for the female side). Machi returned to his spot at the keyboard— It would be easier to pause playing to correct anything wrong or give additional cues by using live music instead of a recording.

Apollo carefully sneaked a peek at Klavier. He had the first line to sing, and Apollo wondered how they’d sound in comparison to each other.

Machi began to play the first few chords, and Apollo shook his head slightly to clear his thoughts.

I’m Apollo Justice, and I’m fine.

Klavier’s voice rang out.

“Summer lovin’, had me a blast…”

Apollo let himself sway, putting a small smile on his face.

“Summer lovin’, happened so fast…”

“Met a girl, crazy for me…”

“Met a boy, cute as can be…”

Apollo closed his eyes, and sang alongside Klavier.

“Summer days, drifting away to ah-oh, those summer nights…”

(And if Apollo had the brief thought that he and Klavier sounded kind of nice when singing together, he wasn’t able to dwell on it too long.)


“So,” Trucy said conversationally, “How did your practice go?”

Apollo halted his attempts to balance a pen on his fingertip, and looked at Trucy, who was wearing an eager expression.

“Surprisingly well.” He paused, and added, “I don’t have to wear a dress.”

Trucy giggled a bit, and said, “So you’re going to keep doing the role?”

Apollo leaned back in his chair (carefully, so that he didn’t fall backwards and smack his head on the floor), and thought about the idea for a minute.

“I guess so,” He eventually decided. “It’s not like I can back out of the class, I need to complete it, and participation is a huge part of the grade for it. I feel like if I swap places now, I’ll be putting myself at risk.”

Trucy watched him carefully, setting aside her math workbook (Apollo was supposed to be keeping an eye out for her homework while Mr. Wright was away, which wasn’t really part of the job description, but he didn’t have too much else to do at the moment).

“No other reasons?” She said with a smile that anyone else might have called innocent— But Apollo knew better. It was expectant.

“Well,” He carefully continued, “I might enjoy showing off to the others a bit. Just because they’re underestimating me.”

Just because HE’S underestimating me, his mind unhelpfully supplied.

Chapter Text

Contrary to popular belief (and as much as he’d like to portray), Klavier Gavin was not perfect.

He was just as able to get frustrated, upset, sad, or angry as anyone else. He simply had grown more adept at hiding it than others had— Out of necessity. After all, not everyone could be a rock star and a future prosecutor. The pressure was on all ends; From his brother, from his teachers, from his bandmates, from his fans, and now with the musical, his classmates.

“It’s still crazy that you're actually going through with this.”

Klavier took a glance at the only bandmate of his who was actually able to call him on his bullshit, and raised an eyebrow.

“It takes more than a musical for me to back down from a challenge, Daryan.”

Daryan rolled his eyes, and smiled lazily as he sat back in the recliner he’d claimed since the band moved into a totally-not-fratboyish rental house.

(Really, it was much cleaner and sometimes quieter than a frat house, and Klavier aimed to keep it that way.)

“I’m just saying, you’ve got a full plate already, you know? Practice and performances, your classes, and now this.”

“Need I remind you that you were the one who set me up for this in the first place?”

If Klavier was a more humble man, he might have admitted to Daryan that he had a point; Klavier had been dealing with more late nights than ever before, wearing himself down in the process (he’d been tempted to spend the entirety of Saturday in bed, but that wasn’t an option). He knew he was stretching himself thin, but there was a nagging voice in the back of his head that kept telling him he couldn’t let himself snap from the tension— Not his own voice, but he wasn’t ready to acknowledge whose it was— and Klavier had wanted nothing more than to tell the voice that he knew what he was doing and that he could handle it.

He always had something to prove, didn’t he?

But Daryan just smirked, stood up from his recliner, stretched, and checked the time on his phone.

“Gotta take care of some errands now,” He said, and after a pause, added, “Don’t forget we’re finishing up Subpoena My Heart tonight.”

Klavier smiled, and said, “Have a little faith in me.”

Just like I need to have faith in myself.

Daryan shrugged, and headed through the front door. Klavier watched him go, and sighed as he resumed working on his Academic Legal Writing assignments. It was by far the least engaging of the required coursework, and taking notes on how to write a proper introduction by emulating a controversial article on iconoclastic assessments was comparable to rubbing sandpaper against his skull. Or perhaps closer to deep-cleaning an entire house before moving.

An unpleasant and repetitive necessity.

Klavier blinked, and shook his head to clear his thoughts. He was letting his more cynical side emerge, and he had to stamp down on it before it took him over.

Ah, but it will all be worth it in the end. Yes, that sounds much better.

A small smile slipped onto his face as he continued taking his notes.


“Great Scott! It’s a full moon!”

Klavier sat with his legs crossed, “casually” looking away from Apollo as they worked on the runthrough of the scene. The two chairs from the previous week had made a return, as he and Apollo pantomimed being at a drive-in movie. He sneaked his hand across the top of the chair, settling his arm across Apollo’s shoulder. Apollo shifted uncomfortably, shying away from his touch, All according to script, of course.

“Why don’t you move a little closer?” Klavier said, mock-flirtatiously.

“This is alright,” Apollo said, acting flustered.

(Or at least, Klavier was 90% sure it was an act.)

“Well, can’t you at least smile or something?” Klavier said, letting some frustration slip into his voice as he occasionally glanced down at his script, “Look, Sandy, I practically had to bust Kenickie’s arm to get his car for tonight. I told you on the phone I was sorry.”

Apollo glanced away; “I know you did.”

“Well you believe me, don’t you?” Klavier pressed.

“I guess so... “ Apollo hesitated. “It’s just that everything was so much easier when it was just the two of us.”

“Hey, you’re not with another guy, are you?”

“No, why?”

Klavier fiddled with the ends of his hair twist; “Er, oh… No reason.”; He then fiddled with one of the several rings on his fingers, faux-awkwardly as he presented it to Apollo.

Apollo looked between Klavier and the ring.

“Oh, Danny... I don’t know what to say.”

Klavier gently reached for Apollo’s hand, and slipped the ring on. It was a little too big for him. He glanced at Apollo then, and noted how his face had been lightly dusted with a blush. Klavier resisted the urge to smirk, not wanting to break character— It was almost too easy to get Apollo riled up, and upon discovering that little fact, Klavier endeavored to tease him as much as he could. Seeing a red-faced rival was, strangely, pleasing.

Surely that can’t be good for his complexion.

“Well, you want it, don’t you?” Klavier pressed.

Apollo looked away— “Uh huh…”

“I should have given it to you a long time ago. I really like you, Sandy,” Klavier spoke, and leaned in to face Apollo, who was now looking at him wide-eyed.

“You’re not actually going to kiss me, are you?”

“That’s not your line, Mr. Justice.”

Apollo groaned and put his head in his hands, the redness on his face turning a shade darker.

“Well, it’s kind of awkward, isn’t it?” Apollo glanced up at Ms. Vasquez, and Klavier let out a quiet huff of laughter as he pulled away, “You don’t actually make the cast do that sort of thing in your other productions, do you?”

Ms. Vasquez looked at Apollo, unimpressed.

“Herr Forehead,” Klavier said with clear amusement, “No need to be shy. It’s not as though we’ll really be necking on stage.”

“Please don’t say it like that.”

I wonder what the technical name for the color on his face is. Vermillion? Carmine?

“Let’s take a ten minute break,” Ms. Vasquez suggested in a bored tone. “Mr. Justice, Mr. Gavin, do whatsoever you wish. I don’t care as long as it’s convincing enough to fool an audience.”

Without waiting for an explanation, she stood up, muttering something about ‘damned smoke-free campuses’ and exited the auditorium.

“I almost wish it was easier to tell what Fraulein Vasquez is thinking at times like this,” Klavier said conversationally.

Apollo glanced up at him, and shook his head, the blush on his face finally beginning to recede.

“She’d probably kill you if she heard you referring to her as Fraulein,” Apollo remarked. After a pause, Apollo added, “And, I’d rather not be making out with you on a stage in front of hundreds of people.”

“So you’d rather be making out with me in private?” Klavier teased, and relished the way Apollo flinched.

Too easy.

“How can you just say things like that?”

Klavier thought about it for a moment, and shrugged. Apollo looked at him skeptically, and Klavier held his gaze. Eventually, Apollo sighed, and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“I guess I don’t mind if you pretend to kiss me, just as long as there isn’t like… actual contact that’s going to give me a purple mark.”

Klavier held up three fingers.

“Scout’s honor.”

“There’s no way you were ever a scout.”

“Touché.”

After the rest of their break, Klavier was able to resume the scene with Apollo, under the judgmental eye of Ms. Vasquez. Klavier only hesitated for a moment when the scene was started from the top, and as the motions were gone through again, Klavier took a few moments to think about what he should do. Eventually, he turned his head just so, pretending to plant kisses across Apollo’s face and neck, pressing his cheek and making light smacking sounds with his lips against Apollo’s skin. It was strange to be acting out intimate kisses, but it wasn’t as though either of them really had reason to be ashamed about it. It wasn’t real. After a few mildly uncomfortable moments, Apollo placed a hand on Klavier’s chest and pushed him away enough to halt the fake kisses.

“Danny, take it easy! What are you trying to do?”

Klavier frowned.

“What’s the matter?”

Apollo turned his head away, and bit his lower lip.

“Well, I mean… I thought we were just going to— you know— be steadies.”

The rest of the scene played out as would be expected, with Apollo brushing Klavier off and leaving stage right, then watching him from behind the curtains as he pretended to reach after him. After a pause, Ms. Vasquez called for them to get ready for the next scene, and Klavier stood up from his seat and wandered over to Apollo.

“It’s a shame we have to wait until Wednesday to continue singing and choreography. I was looking forward to singing a ballad about you.”

Apollo groaned, and prepared for scene twelve.

(Apollo would later have his revenge when scene thirteen rolled around and Klavier had to witness him smirking at him as he said, “Tell me about it, stud.”)


Klavier glared at the laptop screen in front of him as though it had personally offended him.

There was no acceptable reason for him to be behind on his assignments; He was fortunate enough that the two sets of papers he had yet to get started on weren’t due for a while, but if he continued to put off the writing in favor of… well, whatever else he’d be responsible for doing in the following days, he knew it would be a slippery slope to laziness and general incompetence. And like hell he was going to let himself slip up during his last semester before transferring.

“Yo, Klavier.”

The sound of Daryan calling out to him made Klavier snap out of his thoughts, forcing him to put on his most charming smile. Daryan looked at him for a moment, clearly not buying it.

“Get your guitar, man. We’re supposed to be starting up soon.”

Klavier’s smile strained as he stood up from his laptop and headed to his bedroom. At least in the confines of his room, he could allow himself a minute to be as mopey as he wanted. He stepped towards where his guitar laid on its stand, and gingerly picked it up, strumming a few notes for good measure. Music was usually his escape, the mistress of his life when he wasn’t thoroughly dedicating himself to law. As much as he was aspiring to be a prosecutor, to face new challenges, to finally be on the same standing as his brother, to show the world that he was able to stride on his own, he couldn’t quite see himself without his music on the sidelines. And so, after a few more moments of easing the pressure of his mind, he exited his bedroom and headed to the small garage where the rest of his bandmates would be practicing that day.

Music filled the area for a small amount of hours that managed to seem like a lifetime. Klavier had a feeling that their latest single, Guilty Love, was going to be the song that flung them further into the stars, and as he danced his fingers across the strings of his guitar, not stopping even if he wanted to (which he really didn’t), he felt the adrenaline rush surging through him with each chord, each verse, each song that floated into the rapidly-darkening sky. By the time they’d completed their masterpieces, the clock had struck ten. Klavier privately grimaced, his head and heart still pounding with excitement.

Somehow, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to sleep that night.


“You look like shit warmed over,” Ema told him as soon as she saw him the next day.

“Pardon?” Klavier said, raising an eyebrow.

(He’d taken extra care in putting together his appearance that day.)

“You heard me,” Ema continued, leaning against the door to the auditorium. “You may be able to fool the others, but I can tell something’s wrong. You’re less glimmerous today.”

“I believe the word you’re looking for is glamorous,” Klavier corrected, letting a small frown slip onto his face.

“No,” Ema said, daring, “I know what I’m saying. And what I’m saying is that you’re slouching, swaying, and your voice is strained. How much sleep did you even get last night?”

Klavier didn’t answer.

Ema groaned, disgruntled.

“Oh my god. There’s no way you’re going to be able to do anything today.”

“Is that a challenge?” Klavier asked.

Ema looked at him closely, and sighed.

“Do whatever you want, fop. Just don’t work yourself to the bone. It won’t look good on you, and then we’ll all be screwed.” She paused, and added, “Not that I care.”

With that, Ema walked into the auditorium, leaving Klavier to grimace as he watched her.

Just to spite her, Klavier put extra soul into his movements as he stood alongside the others, matching each beat perfectly as they worked on the choreography for ‘Greased Lightning’, ‘We Go Together’, and ‘Born to Hand Jive’. Even as he was able to unwind as ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ came to a close, and the class with it, he refused to let himself crash. Not until he got back to the house, at least. He heaved a heavy breath, and exited the auditorium, more than ready to ride his hog home, eat dinner, and take a twelve-hour nap. And he would have done so immediately, if he hadn’t heard a familiar voice calling out to him.

“Klavier!” Apollo shouted (in his usual loud voice that was nothing like the dulcet tones he used while singing), and rushed up to him. Klavier glanced at him, and shot him a smile that he hoped wasn’t as tired as he felt.

“Did you need something, Herr Forehead?” Klavier asked, almost disappointed that Apollo had only worn a wry smile at the nickname.

“Yeah, actually,” Apollo said, and glanced away a bit awkwardly. “Ema was talking to me earlier, and it almost sounded like she was worried about you.” He bit his lower lip; “Are you having trouble with the musical?”

KIavier furrowed his brows— Maybe Ema was actually onto something. And it certainly didn’t help that Apollo was looking at him with concern.

“I’m fine. I just need to get some rest, ja? No need to worry about me… though it is cute,” Klavier said with a wink.

Apollo made a strange sound from the back of his throat (comically easy to fluster) and brushed off his natural charm, as their routine dictated.

When Apollo left, Klavier made his way to the parking lot, all the while wondering why it was that he’d felt more impacted by Apollo noticing his tiredness than anyone else.


Klavier missed his class on Thursday. It wasn’t his fault, really; He’d managed to sleep past his first, second, and even third alarm, and with Daryan gone to his criminal psychology class, he hadn’t been there to pull Klavier out of the sheets. The rest of his bandmates had most likely been partying the night before (who parties on a Wednesday night?!) based on their lack of presence, and by the time Klavier realized he’d slept for not twelve, but thirteen hours, he realized he’d have less than half an hour to get ready and make it to class, which was definitely not enough time. He glanced between the small desk in his room where his laptop sat innocuously. He still hadn’t started on his paper, and he really could use the extra time, especially since he was fairly certain the class would just be reviewing some of the textbook materials, and Klavier would be tempted to catch up anyway…

He groaned into his pillow, basking in the comfort for a few spare moments before dragging himself up to send a quick email to his professor stating that he was feeling unwell and wouldn’t be able to show up.

He wasn’t sure which was worse: The fact that he really was out of sorts that day, or the nagging feeling that he could have toughed it out if he had only tried harder—

“Stop,” He muttered to himself, and prepared to cram as much productivity into the day as he could.

(If he’d listened to ‘Beauty School Dropout’ one or two or six times as he worked, nobody had to know.)


Friday afternoon brought out a number of surprises.

The first surprise: Ms. Vasquez announced that at the beginning of the semester’s sixth week, the actors would be going ‘off book’, which left only six more days of rehearsing lines interspersed with songs. Thankfully, the song and dance numbers would be directed for a while longer, which was a reasonable compromise since choreography was one of the most important parts of an enticing musical (at least in his own opinion). While Klavier had confidence that he’d be able to go off book for a majority, if not the entirety, of his lines, he wasn’t quite sure that he’d be able to withstand Ms. Vasquez’s cruel instructions of his classmates without getting caught in the crossfire. Thankfully, when he glanced around, trying to gauge the expressions on the fellow cast members’ faces, he noted their determination, and allowed himself to relax. For the time being.

The second surprise: Lamiroir had managed to pull some strings and bring in a former stage performer to help direct the rest of their choreography, since Ms. Vasquez would be overseeing some of the other production aspects on occasion (she seemed to have a special distaste for set design). The newest instructor was even flashier than Klavier could have imagined, and he briefly noted the irony of his statement. Maximillion Galactica— or ‘Max’, as he asked the others to refer to him— was apparently a genius at “putting on a show”, though what that entailed sounded more like magic than dancing. However, when Max hopped onto the stage and did a perfectly-executed and enthralling dance to the tune of ‘Born to Hand Jive’, Klavier had to admit he was proven wrong.

The third surprise: Since the first run-through of the script had gone “well enough” according to Ms. Vasquez and Lamiroir, they would begin integrating script and song together the next week. Klavier assumed this was to save time, but wondered about the feasibility of it all. Surely the rest of his classmates had more open schedules than his own, though, and the thought left as soon as it came.

Well, the rest of his classmates, save for one.

Klavier glanced at Apollo, and briefly wondered how the other was taking in the information.

Apollo stared right back at him.

Klavier brought his attention back to the speakers.

As the announcements were finished, all performers were unceremoniously called to the stage.

There wasn’t enough time to go over the entire play without commentary, and Klavier hadn’t expected any less. But he continued to push himself, determined to produce a performance he could feel satisfied with. All the while as he acted, he could feel someone’s eyes on him— Though it was hard to tell if it was his own imagination, or if someone really was constantly watching him. Being on stage made it a bit difficult… Especially when Apollo grimaced as he attempted to do a split for scene six.

“Hiya Sandy,” Klavier said, throwing on an easy smile.

“Oh, hi,” Apollo said back, standing up.

“Hey, what happened to your ear?” Klavier continued, leaning into Apollo’s personal space.

“Oh, nothing,” Apollo said, and turned his head away.

“Hey, uh, look… I hope you’re not still mad about that first day of school. I mean, couldn’t you tell I was glad to see ya?”

Apollo pursed his lips and crossed his arms; “I’m not sure. It looked to me like maybe you had a new girlfriend or something.”

“Are you kidding?” Klavier said, stuffing the hand that wasn’t holding the script into his pocket, “If it was up to me, I wouldn’t even look at another chick but you.”

Apollo glanced at Klavier, acting almost too sincere for comfort.

“Really?”

Klavier blinked, and surreptitiously glanced down at his script.

“Uh huh. Hey, tell you what… We’re throwing a party tomorrow night for Frenchy. She’s going to quit school before she flunks again and go to beauty school. How would you like to go there with me?”

“Alright Danny, as long as you’re with me…” Apollo looked at Klavier carefully, “But let’s not let anyone come between us again, okay?”

The scene continued on, as did the next, until there was no more time to continue for the day. As the others filtered off of the stage and out of the auditorium, Klavier took a second to just sit on the edge, gathering his thoughts. He clasped his hands together and rested his chin on them, almost closing his eyes, until he heard a creak next to him; Someone sitting at his side, and he was about fifty percent sure he knew who it was.

“So,” Apollo started in a tone that tried far too hard to be casual.

“Yes, Herr Forehead?” Klavier said.

“You missed class yesterday, and I didn’t see you playing around on campus either.”

Klavier exaggeratedly swooned.

“Ach, are you truly so concerned for me? I’m enchanted.”

“Well, after Ema talked to me and I missed you on campus, I was. Kind of,” Apollo tacked on at the end.

Klavier looked him up and down, trying to gauge where the conversation was going to go.

“I can assure you, I’m perfectly capable of handling myself. I was simply a bit under the weather, that’s all.”

Apollo rubbed his wrist below where his strange bracelet sat.

“I think you’re lying.”

Klavier raised an eyebrow.

“Oh? And do you have any proof?”

Apollo glanced away.

“No, but… Look, I came here because I have a proposal, of sorts.”

Now that’s intriguing.

“I’m kind of,” Apollo grimaced, “Struggling with the paper for Academic Legal Writing, and I thought you might have been too. So I was going to ask if you wanted to try studying together. Or something like that.”

Klavier’s eyes widened.

“So are you finally accepting my offer for dinner?”

Apollo clamped a hand over his mouth, and Klavier let out a small, relieved laugh.

“Relax, I’m just teasing you. But, I will admit, I haven’t been having the easiest time balancing my responsibilities. And while I know I should…” He paused, searching for the right words to say and finding none, “Well, I suppose the help would be appreciated.”

Apollo watched Klavier, and Klavier watched him in return.

“When would be a good time to meet up?” Apollo finally asked.

“Hmm,” Klavier hummed, “Friday and Saturday nights are no good, but I’m free on Sundays. We could meet at the campus library and go from there.”

Apollo nodded, satisfied with Klavier’s answer; “That should work, if you’re good with afternoons. Maybe around three?”

“Three is fine.”

After a few moments, Apollo awkwardly leapt down from the edge of the stage, and stretched for a moment. Without looking back at Klavier, he rubbed the back of his neck, and said,

“For what it’s worth, I think it’s kind of cool that you’re playing in a band and studying to be a lawyer.”

Before Klavier could say anything in response, Apollo had grabbed his bag and rushed out of the auditorium, leaving Klavier to stare at the door in his wake. It took him several seconds to realize that he was smiling, the corners of his mouth undeniably quirked as the discomfort was alleviated, at least temporarily. Klavier let out a quiet breath, picked up his script, and stood up to leave as well.

The fourth surprise: Apollo Justice was capable of rendering Klavier speechless.

Chapter Text

“So,” Apollo said conversationally, not even looking up from the document in front of him on the desk, “I need to leave the agency an hour early tomorrow.”

Phoenix glanced at Apollo curiously as he finished sorting a small stack of papers.

“Got a hot date?” He joked, and Apollo rolled his eyes in response.

“Har, har. No, I’m going to a…” He hesitated for a split second, “...Study group in the campus library.”

Apollo squinted at one line in the document, and reached for a sticky note, tacking it on the page and writing a quick note— Cross-Reference with OM-6, page 7.

“Oh?” Phoenix tilted his head curiously, “In all the time I’ve known you, you’ve always taken on the work yourself.”

Apollo cringed; “Well, I’m not exactly in a position to do that right now.”

The room was silent for a few moments, until in a surprisingly tame voice, Phoenix said, “I remember what it was like when I was studying law. It was kind of funny, really. I was originally an art student, and the difference between law and art smacked me in the face within the first semester. The only reason I switched to being a lawyer was… well, I guess that’s kind of water under the bridge now, so no point in bringing it up.”

Apollo raised his head and looked at Phoenix, surprised to see the sincerity in his expression.

“You used to be an artist?” Apollo asked, opting to shy away from whatever the ‘water under the bridge’ entailed.

“Yeah. A sucky one, too.”

Apollo couldn’t resist letting out a snicker.

“I don’t know Mr. Wright, I’m sure there would be plenty of people who’d love to see your old masterpieces.”

“Yeah,” Phoenix scoffed good-naturedly, “Maybe to use as blackmail material.”

“I’ve seen them!” Trucy piped up, sticking her head out from one of the doors and pausing for dramatic effect, “They’re what you’d expect from a college student!”

“Hey, some college students can be good at art!” Phoenix groused, and glanced at Apollo with a grin that spelled nothing but trouble.

Apollo looked back at him warily.

“How’s the musical going, by the way?”

Somehow I knew that’s where this was going, Apollo thought with exasperation.

“It’s going smoothly, I think. We’re supposed to be abandoning the scripts in a couple of weeks, and…” He faltered for a moment, “...Well, I’ll be fine.”

“Performance anxiety?” Trucy interrupted once again, this time stepping out into the actual office.

“Uh, Trucy, that doesn’t mean what you think it means,” Apollo said, heat creeping across his cheeks.

“I thought it was the same as stage fright…?” Trucy wondered out loud.

“Anyway!” Apollo steered away from that particular line of thinking, “I’m not worried about performing. I’m just… well, I guess I’m a little intimidated by how quickly this is all happening. With the musical, and with class too.”

Phoenix hummed, and nodded to himself. “I understand. You’ve been balancing coursework with the need to take care of yourself and your obligations here, haven’t you?”

Apollo looked away, feeling somewhat guilty. After a moment of contemplation, Phoenix spoke up again.

“I’ll tell you what,” He started, “Since clients have been building up lately, and Trucy’s been busy with her shows, we’ve been raking in a little extra cash. I’d be okay with giving you some paid leave, as long as you’re not abusing the time.” He stopped for a moment, and added, “But you’ll definitely have to supply us with some free tickets to your musical.”

Apollo’s eyes widened in shock.

Are we really making enough that I can afford to take time off? That’s way too convenient!

Phoenix stuffed his hands into his pockets and looked at Apollo quizzically and the phrase don’t look a gift horse in the mouth suddenly entered Apollo’s mind.

“I… I can do that, yeah,” He said after a while.

“Good! I figured there wouldn’t be any objections,” Phoenix continued, relaxed.

The office was silent afterward, for the most part, anyway. Apollo was briefly grateful that he hadn’t been pressed on his brief hesitation at the mention of a study group (though technically two people could count as a group, right? ...Okay, no, he wasn’t even able to imagine that with a straight face.) He wasn’t sure why he had hesitated in the first place— Sure, it would just be Klavier and himself, but they were really just studying. And while Apollo had admitted to himself that maybe, just maybe, Klavier was a good performer when he wasn’t crooning in a rock band, and that maybe, just maybe, it was fun to prove to Klavier that he was more than what he appeared to be (and much more than a ‘Herr Forehead’), he still didn’t hold any special fondness for the guy. They were possibly-friendly rivals. That’s all.

“What’s the smile for?” Trucy asked.

Apollo schooled his expression into something blank.

“Nothing.”


The campus library was blessedly silent as Apollo took his first few steps inside. It was just a bit past three in the afternoon, and he’d managed to get there without too much trouble. A small part of his mind liked to imagine that Klavier would be “fashionably late”, but to his surprise, Klavier was already at one of the tables, a small stack of books to one side, a laptop in front of him, and a notebook riddled with different listings to his other side. Apollo stared, wondering how long Klavier had been there, if he’d even noticed Apollo entering with the way he was focused on his work.

Something inside him twinged strangely at the sight of Klavier looking so… studious.

Apollo cleared his throat, and Klavier snapped his head up to look at him, putting on a bright smile.

“So you made it,” Klavier said, resting his chin on his hand.

“Of course I did,” Apollo said, raising an eyebrow, “I’m not a jerk, I wouldn’t offer help and then not show up. How long have you been here, anyway?”

“I’ve been busy looking through my notes,” Klavier answered, not-quite-tactfully avoiding the question, “And I was wondering if you have any opinions on it before I compile any more information.”

After a moment of internally debating on whether he should press the issue, Apollo conceded and stepped to the side of the table where Klavier had set up his study space.

“So your article is going to be on…” He squinted at the title set up on the laptop document, “...Digital copyright enforcement effectiveness?”

Klavier nodded, and gestured to his notebook; “I’ve been compiling a list of empirical evidence relating to accessibility of content in relation to the decisions to legally buy or pirate, but I’ve been gathering so much different information that it feels like cramming a garbage bag into an already-full dumpster.”

Apollo blinked.

“That was surprisingly eloquent of you.”

Klavier huffed, and said, “I’m not just a pretty face, you know.”

“Mind if I look at your notes?” Apollo asked, and Klavier nodded.

After flipping through several pages of the notebook, Apollo tilted his head, and spoke carefully.

“You’ve marked a lot of different legitimate sources, which is good in theory, but it sounds like your problem is that you’re overloading on different possibilities, which is going to make your article harder to write and be understood.”

Klavier hummed, thinking for a moment.

“So how am I to generalize the subject?” He asked after a stretch of time.

Apollo tapped his foot against the floor and looked away, wracking his brain for a solution that wouldn’t seem condescending or completely knock out all of Klavier’s efforts.

“How about… Well, our textbook said you should find something that you’re particularly interested in and that has room for nonobvious ideas, right?” Apollo eventually supplied, “Maybe you could narrow it down to… ah, what about music in particular?”

Klavier scratched the back of his neck, and said, “That does sound like a good idea, though it’s a somewhat impersonal subject when it comes to legal matters.”

“Think about it this way: If your band makes it big—”

“You mean when,” Klavier corrected with a smirk.

“Okay,” Apollo conceded tiredly, “When your band makes it big, what do you think the best way to let people access your music without stealing it or skirting intellectual property rights would be? You’d probably be better at thinking about that than I am, since you actually have experience with the subject.”

Klavier looked at Apollo, and Apollo could practically see the cogs in his mind spinning faster and faster, until,

“Herr Forehead, you’re brilliant!”

Apollo jolted, surprised.

“It’s… no big deal?” He said tentatively.

“No big deal?” Klavier continued, his eyes practically lighting up, “You’ve practically saved me. Do you have any idea how long I’ve been stuck in this rut? And with such a simple solution that I’d completely overlooked! Mein Gott, you’ve lifted a massive weight from my shoulders.”

Apollo had to look away for a moment, nearly blinded from the way Klavier was practically glowing in joy and relief. The sight was nice, but there was something nagging at the back of his mind…

“I think if you had talked to our professor during class on Thursday, you would have gotten a better answer.”

“Herr Forehead, you sell yourself short,” Klavier said, wearing a smile that looked startlingly close to genuine. It faded slightly after a moment, though; “And… I could not have asked the professor even if I wanted to. I wasn’t quite… ah, able to make it.”

Apollo furrowed his brows, and slid into the seat next to Klavier, but said nothing.

He sounds like he’s been more stressed than he’s ever let on before. Granted, he’s still putting on the charm like nothing is wrong, but…

Apollo furtively looked at Klavier from the corner of his eye; Not like it was necessary, as Klavier was engrossed in dancing his fingers across the keyboard, revising and re-revising miscellaneous notes in his documents and occasionally glancing at the notebook. Apollo wondered if Klavier even noticed how fast his actions had been, working and moving like his heart would stop if he didn’t. Maybe that was why he’d been absent from class on Thursday; Had Klavier been putting off his work? Or… had he been working too much? It was strange, Apollo thought as he took a closer look at Klavier, how there was an almost duality to his character that he tried to merge into one— The Klavier Gavin who was suave, talented, effortlessly perfect, and the Klavier Gavin who was working nonstop, throwing himself into whatever he was doing with a violent passion.

Maybe I don’t give him as much credit as I ought to.

“Don’t give who enough credit?” Klavier asked, wrenching Apollo out of his thoughts.

“Oh, I guess I said that out loud,” Apollo muttered, also out loud.

Klavier’s smile returned, and Apollo had a feeling that if he let Klavier distract him from his own work anymore, he’d get too caught up in the banter. So he walked back to his own end of the table, and rifled through his bag for his own set of textbooks and notebooks.

It was strange, he briefly thought as he poured over his own notes, that helping Klavier had managed to assist in clearing his own mind as well. Their study session at the library had, somehow, managed to yield results more positive and productive than Apollo could have imagined. Not to say that it would be the only one of their sessions, because god only knew how difficult things would get near midterms and finals week, but the moment of clarity was appreciated.

Apollo wasn’t sure how long he’d been buried in his studies, occasionally scratching his head or tapping his pencil against his notebook when he was caught on a particularly frustrating concept, idly listening to the click-click-click of Klavier typing. In fact, it only occurred to him when he checked the time (holy hell, when had it turned to almost six in the evening already?!) that Klavier had, probably for a little while now, ceased his typing, and was looking at Apollo.

Apollo looked back, and Klavier blinked owlishly, as if he hadn’t expected Apollo to catch him.

“Is there something on my face?” Apollo asked, more than a bit confused.

“Ah, not really,” Klavier said, and cleared his throat. “I’m just a bit confused, that’s all.”

“Confused about what?” Apollo asked, now feeling confused as well.

“Just how things have ended up. You said you were struggling with your paper, yet all this time, you haven’t asked me for help at all. I wasn’t sure if you still needed it.”

Apollo rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly; “Well, I think helping you actually helped me, in a way. That, and… I didn’t want to bother you. You looked like you were really focused, and believe it or not, I don’t actually want you to fail a class or anything.”

Klavier tilted his head, bemused.

“You thought I was failing?”

“Of course not!” Apollo said too loudly, backtracking, “I just… you make everything seem so easy and effortless, and when I realized it’s not that easy for you either, I kind of… didn’t want to interrupt?”

It was more of a question than a statement, but Klavier seemed to take it in all the same.

“Well, as much as I’d like to convince people otherwise, I’m not without the occasional flaw.”

Apollo almost snickered, but something in Klavier’s words made him reconsider.

“Why do you try so hard to be so flawless, anyway?”

Klavier’s expression turned pensive, then dark, then forcibly relaxed; “Ach, that’s a story for another day, I suppose.”

“Maybe next Sunday, then,” Apollo said, shrugging awkwardly and packing up his supplies, the implication that this would become a routine unspoken. “I’m going to head back home, since it’s getting a bit late and I haven’t eaten yet.”

Klavier eyed him, and Apollo had the sneaking suspicion that he was going to ask him to dinner (again).

Instead, Klavier nodded to himself, and said, “See you tomorrow.”

As Apollo exited the library, he wondered why Klavier had held back.


“Hands left to right!”

“Up in the skies above!”

As Apollo sang and moved to the beat of ‘We Go Together’, pointedly trying to ignore the heat of Klavier pressed against his side and listening carefully as Max gave stage directions, he tried to ignore the sweat that was beginning to pool across his back. The entirety of the class period thus far had been comprised of Max directing the more complex routines, the ones that required more movement and energy and endurance. Apollo wasn’t weak by any means, and he’d definitely done enough vocal exercises that he wouldn’t get breathless so easily, but the constant movement, the constant noise, the constant “No good, do it over again!”s were wearing him down more than he’d anticipated. If all went well for the current song, they’d be moving on to ‘Born to Hand Jive’, a number that Apollo was thankfully instructed to leave halfway through. But for now, he had to focus on getting through the here-and-now stress.

“Windmill! Come on, move those arms!”

“Or at the high school dance, where you can find romance…”

“Arms down!”

“Maybe, it might be…”

Apollo only had a split second to register what was happening next: Klavier’s hands slid towards him, hands planted on his lower sides and moving up—

“Huh- wha?!”

Apollo yelped as he was suddenly lifted, nearly flailing and clasping his thighs around Klavier’s hips in a vice, refusing to let himself fall as he tried to get his heartbeat to settle into something that wasn’t going to burst right out of his chest. The music stopped playing from the speakers, paused as Max pressed on the remote and scrutinized the cast, his hands fiddling with a playing card. Apollo looked at Klavier, and he was sure that his expression was pleading to be lowered back onto the floor. Klavier obliged, and set Apollo down (causing him to make a quiet, jittery sound). Apollo could practically feel everyone’s eyes on him, and he tried not to let his legs turn to jelly.

“Klavier, Apollo, what was that?”

“S-sorry,” Apollo said, glancing at Klavier. “I just wasn’t expecting that.”

Klavier furrowed his brows, and looked down at his hands. After a pause, he spoke.

“I don’t know why I did that.”

Apollo gawked at him.

“You don’t know why you—”

“Hmm,” Max hummed loudly, and suddenly Apollo had a gut feeling that he would soon want to be swallowed into a black hole.

“While I’m not normally a fan of improvisation, that was a simply fabulous move. Try it again.”

Yup, there it is.

“Really?” Klavier asked, having the decency to look unsuspecting, “I acted on impulse.”

“Sometimes you have to be a bit impulsive in showbiz!” Max said, offering a sly smile. “Try it again. From the top!”

At the snap of Max’s fingers, the actors semi-reluctantly went back to their places. Apollo looked back at Klavier, who somehow was looking as wide-eyed as he imagined himself to be.

What kind of impulse was that anyway?

The jaunty brass section started, and Apollo had no choice but to push the question out of his mind for the time being.

“Both sides, center stage!”

“We go together, like rama-lama-lama, ka-dingety ding de dong…”

“And, part!”

“Remembered forever, like shoo-bop sha wada-wada yippity boom de boom…”

“In line! Hands low!”

“Chang chang, changity chang shoo bop, that’s the way it should be, wa-ooh, yeah!”

Apollo let his body move on autopilot, only occasionally glancing at Max for a beat or two as the cast continued to dance and sing. He was still trying to get the hang of the movements, and he had been doing fine until that point… Maybe he just had to brace himself for the lift this time, he considered, since he knew it’d be happening again at that cue.

“And windmill!”

“Or at the high school dance, where you can find romance…”

“Arms down!”

“Maybe, it might be…”

Apollo steeled himself, leaning into Klavier’s touch just the slightest bit as he was lifted into a half-embrace, still clinging tightly.

“Lo-o-o-o-o-ove!”

“Fantastic!”

“Rama-lama-lama, ka-dingety ding de dong…”

Klavier set Apollo down, and immediately rushed back to his cue, perhaps faster than he had in their step-by-step iterations. Apollo didn’t have any time to ruminate on what had happened as he followed suit, returning to his position, but a stray thought entered his mind as he was able to stop moving for a moment; For a split second, as Klavier had lifted him into the air, he looked… well, Apollo didn’t have the time to put a name to it. Startled? Happy? Embarrassed? Not that it mattered, as he pushed the incident out of his mind. He had other things to focus on, namely dancing so that he didn’t have to do the lift once again.

“Fantastic job, everyone! We’ll take a fifteen minute break for now, but don’t get too relaxed!”

Max called out, and Apollo immediately felt his shoulders drop with relief. He let out a sigh, and rifled through his pants pocket, counting the spare change that he’d put in earlier.

Just enough to get a water bottle from one of the vending machines in the hallways.

It took about four minutes for Apollo to get to the machine, another four to get back, and during the return trip, he downed the entire bottle. When the entrance to the auditorium came into sight, Klavier leaning against the wall to the side of it, Apollo mentally weighed his options.

He could:

1. Ask about why Klavier scared the bejeezus out of him (Not really worth it, since Klavier had been honest about it being an impulse; Apollo’s bracelet hadn’t tightened. Maybe he should stop using it as a reference point…?)

Or,

2. Tease him about it (Was that too friendly? Or was it just the right amount of friendly? Did it even matter?)

“So,” Apollo said mock-casually, “I’d say you’re bringing a whole new definition to ‘pick-up’ lines.”

Klavier’s eyes widened fractionally. Apollo considered it a victory.

“Ah, but you’ve never been receptive to them before. I had to try a new tactic,” Klavier replied, snapping his fingers.

Damn, he’s quick to recover…

“Do you just enjoy one-upping me?” Apollo asked, glancing away.

“No more than you do to me,” Klavier responded cheekily, and Apollo had no witty response to make.

(He wasn’t wrong, though.)


“What are you humming?” Trucy asked, tapping Apollo on the back and startling him out of said humming. He turned around to look between her and the clock on the wall. “Something from your practice yesterday?”

A quarter to four… She must have gotten out of school a while ago, but Mr. Wright is nowhere in sight. Did she take the bus here?

He then realized he hadn’t actually answered her question.

“It’s called ‘You’re the One that I Want’. It’s the last song in our production.”

Trucy looked at Apollo with practically shining eyes.

“You should sing it for me!”

Apollo made a noise somewhere between a gasp and a cough.

“I can’t really do that,” He said, somewhat embarrassed, “It’s a two-person song, and it’d be kind of awkward for me to do it alone.”

The gleam in Trucy’s eyes grew more intense as she smiled.

“Then pull it up on youtube or something! I haven’t gotten to hear what you sound like yet, and I want a sneak peek!” She paused, and then added with a sly tone, “I bet you sing even better than Klavier does.”

Apollo rolled his eyes, but strolled toward the work computer to pull up youtube anyway.

“No you don’t.”

“Yeah, you’re right. But I still want to hear it!”

Apollo pressed play on the video, and tapped his foot to the beat of the drums, shortly followed by the bass and a few piano accents.

“I got chills, they’re multiplying,
And I’m losin’ control…
‘Cause the power you’re supplying…
It’s electrifying!”

Apollo closed his eyes, and began to sing.

“You better shape up, ‘cause I need a man…
And my heart is set on you…
You better shape up, you better understand…
To my heart I must be true!”

Apollo let himself sway from side to side, bobbing his head occasionally. He gripped the edge of the computer desk a little bit tighter as he belted out the lyrics.

“You’re the one that I want! You are the one for, ooh-ooh-ooh…”

Apollo didn’t feel too terribly self-conscious as he sang in front of Trucy. He knew there wouldn’t be much judgment from her, since she was a performer and knew the pride and struggles of an audience. But as the bass continued after the refrain and Apollo continued the next verse, he wondered why he wasn’t nervous when performing on stage with the others. He was, by no means, a natural singer, but somehow, everything seemed to be working too perfectly (minus the notable hiccups regarding the drive-through scene and the lift, both of which he attributed to Klavier Gavin and not himself, thank you very much). Maybe Lamiroir and Ms. Vasquez were onto something…?

“Yes I’m sure down deep inside— You’re the one that I want! You are the one for…”

Apollo opened his eyes, and nearly squeaked when he saw Phoenix watching him alongside Trucy, thoroughly amused.

“Mr. Wright!” Apollo stuttered, less out of embarrassment at getting caught singing than embarrassment at getting caught slacking off. “How long were you there?” He asked.

“At least ten seconds. I was just talking to someone outside the agency,” Phoenix said, laughing mildly and sneaking past him. “I’m almost surprised, Apollo. Who knew you were hiding pipes like that?”

Apollo groused at the light teasing, and got back to work.

Yeah, I guess they were onto something. But it’s not like I’m going to do any more performing after this semester. I’m not really meant for the stage, I’m meant for the courtroom.

Apollo blinked as he hit a revelation, and resumed what he was doing, though much more carefully.

I guess that means I have nothing else to lose while I perform. Might as well make it great.

Chapter Text

The rest of the week flew by much faster than Apollo was prepared for.

Wednesday and Thursday were a blur of activity; The former was full of tests for the musical’s set designs— The backdrops and props were coming together quite nicely, though Apollo had snickered when he saw the ‘car’ prop used for Greased Lightning wheeled around on a dolly; The lights and soundboards had been prepared, and their features would be slowly integrated into their practices (Apollo had seen Ema practically preening as she successfully fiddled with one of the spotlights, then played a sound clip of an engine revving); The latter was mind-numbingly boring, with his morning classes back-to-back; While Apollo was pleased to say he’d gotten into the swing of their academic legal writing class, his political science class (which was a joke hardly worth mentioning, if he was being honest with himself) was decidedly less pleasant; He’d nearly fallen asleep, and by the end of the lecture, he was certain he’d missed several key points and would most likely need to work on making up for lost time during his study session on Sunday.

But Friday… oh, Friday was something Apollo couldn’t prepare himself for.


Apollo grimaced as he walked through the crowded hallways, the walls practically oozing shades of red and pink (well, maybe he was exaggerating— The walls had been displaying posters for Valentine’s Day candygrams and flower deliveries, and though they were plastered all over, they were at least tastefully designed). Of all the days that he had to take an alternative route to his class, it had to be February 14th, a day when most of the students were bustling around excitedly. Class had been in session for over a full month now, and Apollo had almost forgotten how obnoxious the campus could get after the “recovery period” was over.

(Huh, maybe Trucy was onto something when she said he sometimes acted like a “crotchety old man”...)

Finally, Apollo managed to make his way to the auditorium, more than a bit grateful to be out of the crammed hallways. As he swung the door open, a barrage of floral scents hit his nose faster than his eyes could register the source of them.

So, so, so many flowers.

At least five moderately-sized crates of them, some sent in bouquets, some sent by themselves, all stacked by the door. Most prominent were the sets of roses, obviously red, but there were occasionally groups of other flowers. Apollo could recognize red, pink, and white carnations, and a few daffodils, but most of the others were a mystery.

Apollo stepped inside, careful not to knock over any of the ‘precious cargo’, and glanced around the seats, looking for an explanation. The first person he spotted was Klavier, sitting where he always did, fussing with his hands and sporting a rather colorful… flower crown?

Apollo’s first thought was, Oh, it makes sense that all of these would be for him.

Apollo’s second (entirely unwarranted) thought was, The roses suit him.

Apollo’s third thought was, Wait… how did he manage to carry all of those here by himself?

Klavier’s eyes met his own, then, and suddenly, Klavier grinned.

“Herr Forehead!”

Apollo rolled his eyes at the nickname, but stepped forward anyway, watching as Klavier fiddled with the flowers he was holding and ‘tsk’ed. Upon closer inspection, he’d been making another crown (beautiful, though less artfully crafted) with a set of short-stemmed, purple-petaled flowers. Apollo watched him silently for a few moments as he fixed what was apparently a tricky knot. As soon as he’d finished making the crown, Klavier patted the seat next to him, a silent request for Apollo to sit down. As soon as Apollo did, Klavier turned toward him, and gingerly set the flower crown on his head. Apollo blinked as Klavier’s hands slowly pulled away, and felt a rush of heat to his cheeks. The action paired with the softening smile on Klavier’s face was almost tender, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see a few of his fellow classmates and actors (notably the rest of the ‘pink ladies’) staring at him with varying degrees of humor and, in a few cases, something like jealousy.

“Seems like I was right,” Klavier said thoughtfully, forcing Apollo’s attention back to him, “It makes your face look more proportional. You’re welcome to keep it, by the way. I have far too many that I can’t figure out uses for.”

“How generous,” Apollo deadpanned, snapping out of whatever nervous haze he’d been in.

What’s going on with me today?!

Thankfully, Apollo didn’t have too much time to dwell on that thought, as Ms. Vasquez and Lamiroir made their entrance into the auditorium, Ms. Vasquez watching the students with a sharp, analytical gaze, and Lamiroir with a clouded one. After a few small announcements, it was time to get back to work for the day. Apollo hesitated, and carefully set the flower crown down on an empty seat before he stood up to make his way to the stage.

(When practice ended, Klavier approached Apollo to ask if they would still be able to study together on Sunday, which Apollo agreed to. Klavier also asked if Apollo would be willing to help him carry out some of the crates of flowers, which Apollo did not agree to.)

(When Apollo returned to his apartment, he did a quick google search to figure out what the flowers on his crown were. When he stumbled upon a ‘fun fact’ article about them— hyacinths, he discovered— he nearly fell out of his seat.)


Sunday’s study session started off normally (or as normally as it could, given that they’d only gotten together to go over their assignments once prior.) Apollo stepped into the student library, this time unsurprised to see Klavier already waiting for him, his focus only drifting from his laptop for a moment to let him wave at Apollo before snapping back to his work. And for the first hour or two of their studying, that’s what the atmosphere was like: Quiet, studious, uninterrupted, and a little bit awkward.

Well, maybe most of the awkwardness was felt by Apollo.

While Apollo had been trying to focus on catching up with what he missed in his political science class, his mind would, occasionally, drift back to Klavier. He remembered their conversation the previous week, where Klavier had seemed almost-but-not-quite glum at the end of their study session, and he had vaguely suggested talking about it during their next session. It wasn’t clear if the question would be in good taste, or whether now was a good time to bring it up, but Apollo wasn’t so far in denial to say he wasn’t concerned about Klavier’s feelings. Sure, he had acted normally throughout the week, but just to be certain…

“So,” Apollo started, and hesitated as Klavier glanced up and silently raised an eyebrow, “How are you doing today?”

Apollo had almost expected Klavier to say something along the lines of ‘Small talk isn’t your strong suit, Herr Forehead’, or maybe ‘I’m fine, why do you ask?’ Instead, however, he received a smile that might have been tired.

“I’ve been better.”

Apollo tapped his pencil against his notebook, unsure of how to proceed. I didn’t expect him to actually open up so easily.

“Did something happen?” Apollo asked. “Or is it just one of those days?”

Klavier shrugged noncommittally, and said, “A bit of both. I’ve had a lot on my mind, lately. But they’re my burdens to deal with. You shouldn’t concern yourself with them.”

Klavier’s words were enticing in the way Pandora’s Box may have been— Apollo had no idea what was inside, which was what made him all the more curious.

“You don’t have to carry your burdens alone, you know,” Apollo said carefully, and considered his next words for all of two seconds before deciding Screw it, there’s no point in pretending otherwise anymore. “Friends support friends, don’t they?”

Klavier’s eyes widened, just barely able to be perceived.

“You’re finally admitting we’re friends?”

“Well, after all that we’ve— Wait, what do you mean finally?!”

Klavier laughed lightly, and Apollo could swear there was a hint of relief in the sound. Or maybe he was just imagining it.

“You’re far more sincere than you must realize,” Klavier continued. “I had assumed we were friends from the start of the semester. I just thought you were pretending to be annoyed with me for the fun of it.”

Apollo pointedly refused to respond; Klavier didn’t need to know that Apollo actually had been telling himself that he was annoyed with Klavier because he maybe-sorta-kinda-potentially-possibly-perhaps didn’t want to risk abandoning their banter.

He cleared his throat after a moment, and tried to change the subject.

“You still haven’t told me what’s bothering you.”

Klavier’s smile turned muted then, though there were still mild traces of comfort; Apollo tried not to dwell on the warmth it provided.

“I suppose the most prevalent issue was an event that occurred yesterday,” Klavier said, and paused for effect, “I met with my brother.”

Apollo tilted his head, trying to convey a quiet interest. He’d distantly known Klavier had a brother, based on the few times he’d overheard Klavier mention him during their previous semesters, but he never elaborated enough for Apollo to really get a picture of what he was like.

“He’s actually an esteemed defense attorney,” Klavier continued, smiling wryly, “Though he moved to Anaheim several years ago, so his presence in my life has been scarce lately.” And then, in a more somber voice, “I sometimes find myself preferring it that way.”

Apollo ‘hmm’ed; “So you two would be on opposing sides of the courtroom, then.”

Klavier sighed, and nodded.

“Ja, and it’s no coincidence either. He instilled an interest in the legal world within me, one that I still can’t imagine leaving behind, not even for music. For that, at least, I can thank him. But I can remember, as I started to grow up, he started to… change. The older I got, the less I felt like I knew him. He was always a mystery, and I only realized that he had practically become a stranger when it was already too late. Now… it’s almost like I don’t know who he is anymore.”

Apollo frowned, feeling a stab of sympathy.

Though their situations were likely very different, he deeply understood the feeling of lacking a familial figure.

“The worst part is,” Klavier continued, “I missed band practice to see him yesterday. He had requested to see me, and I, fool that I am, thought he was actually interested in mending the gap. It was a long while since he wanted to see me, not the other way around. But…” Klavier’s voice wavered, just barely, “I think there were far better ways I could have spent my time.”

Wincing, Apollo scrambled for words to say.

‘What did he say?’ No, that’s too intrusive. ‘Are you alright?’ Well he’s obviously not. ‘Gee, that really sucks’... Okay, now you’re not even trying.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” He eventually settled on.

“I am too,” Klavier said. “You know, when you asked me why I try so hard to be effortless last week…” He trailed off, but Apollo didn’t need to hear the rest of the sentence to understand what he was alluding to.

“Well,” Apollo said after a moment of deep thought, “You still don’t have to try to carry everything on your shoulders, remember? Isn’t that the reason why we’re studying together?”

“I suppose you have a point,” Klavier said, and Apollo couldn’t tell if it was exhausted or relieved.

Maybe it was both.

Apollo checked his phone, and grimaced. “It’s almost five-thirty, and I didn’t get to eat lunch today. I might have to head back home early.”

Klavier watched Apollo carefully for several seconds, and an easy smile slowly spread across his face.

“You could always take me up on my offer to take you to dinner,” He suggested.

Apollo pursed his lips; “I don’t think I can impose like that. Besides, I can’t imagine you’d go any place cheap, and I’m not made of money.”

Klavier’s smile grew wider. “Who said you’d have to pay? You listened to my sorrows, so let me repay the favor. After all, we’re friends, aren’t we?”

Apollo wasn’t sure whether he should be flattered or flustered.

(He reluctantly settled on both.)

“What place do you have in mind?”

Klavier closed his laptop and packed it away in his carrier, and Apollo had the stray thought that his smile, while subdued before, was now almost blinding.

“I can give you directions in a moment. It’s a bar and grill at the crossing, but they serve great food when you don’t feel like drinking the night before a class. Good place for dates, too.”

And then Klavier winked at him.

Apollo groaned; “Just text me the directions or something so I can ride my bike there.”

“I don’t have your number,” Klavier said, then smirked, “Though now’s the perfect opportunity for it. Oh, and don’t worry— I don’t double-text too often.”

“The directions, Klavier.”


After the semi-emotional events of their study session, dinner was an easy affair. The building was noisy, but in an ambient way and not overly-loud, and the menu was much more diverse than Apollo could usually afford (he still felt a bit bad about letting Klavier pay for it, but the sound of his stomach rumbling overpowered any complaints he might have had.) Klavier ordered some fettuccine dish that cost seventeen freakin’ dollars, while Apollo ordered a much more reasonably-priced teriyaki chicken sandwich. True to Klavier’s word, the food was amazing, and Apollo even sneaked a bite out of Klavier’s garlic bread.

It was… actually really nice.

What surprised Apollo the most, though, was how easy it was to make conversation with Klavier; He hadn’t anticipated Klavier’s genuine interest in the goings-on of his life, and as he spoke about his cat at home, his mishaps at the agency, Trucy’s upcoming magic show, and just life in general, Klavier seemed to soak up the information with enthusiasm. Not to say that Apollo was the only one talking— Klavier was more than willing to talk about his bandmates and how they were trying to arrange a gig over spring break (which he not-so-subtly implied Apollo should attend), how his own classes were going (which Apollo was relieved to hear were going well), and his excitement to be invited to view a mock-trial at Ivy University (which had Apollo slightly jealous). Somehow, through the course of their hour-long get-together, Apollo felt like he’d managed to understand Klavier a bit better beyond his previously-muddled knowledge of his character. And maybe, he supposed, Klavier had gotten to know him better too.

The thought made something oddly pleasant spread through his chest.

And now, a full three hours later, Apollo could still feel traces of the feeling lingering within him.

He had been lying on his bed, scrolling through his instagram feed (hey, he wasn’t nearly as technologically disconnected as Phoenix Wright was) and liking the occasional cat picture when he realized that yes, that happiness was still connected to Klavier.

He thought back to the flower crown.

What does it mean?


“Aww, you’re all broke up over Miss D!”

Alita crooned the words at Klavier, and Apollo watched them for a moment from behind the stage curtain. He wasn’t prepared to admit it out loud, but Apollo was somewhat jealous of Klavier’s ability to keep himself so put-together after such a long run-through. Even in the midst of the scene they were working on, Apollo knew they had to work on the next choreographed dance shortly afterward, and despite the opportunity for another respite during the scene after, he wasn’t quite sure how well he’d be able to keep up. This was the first time they’d done anything close to a flawless runthrough of the musical thus far, and while there was still the entire week to continue using their scripts, Apollo and the others had mostly memorized their lines, meaning the pressure was on.

“Who?” Klavier asked.

“Ah, come on Zuko, why don’t you take me to the dance— I can pull that Sandra Dee act too. Right, you guys?” Alita smirked, doing an exaggerated song and dance as Apollo readied for his cue. “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee, lousy with virginity…”

Apollo swiftly marched onto the stage, putting a scowl on his face; “Listen, just who do you think you are? I know you’re making fun of me!”

Alita ad-libbed as she continued to mock ‘Sandy’, and sneered at him. Apollo mentally counted down a second, and pushed forward, faux-fighting with Alita. For a brief moment, he had the thought that he needed to be careful, lest he end up actually hurting her, but the thought flew out of his mind when he felt Klavier’s arms pulling him away. Right, this was the part where Sandy was supposed to think that Danny had no interest in who she was at the time. Apollo shook himself away from Klavier’s grasp and tried to put a force of emotion into his voice.

“Let go of me! Don’t touch me!”

Alita almost looked like she was truly surprised. Klavier mirrored her expression.

“That chick’s flipped her lid!” Alita cried out, and Apollo swiveled to face Klavier, stepping into his personal space and causing him to take a step back.

“You tell them right now… That all those things you’ve been saying about me were lies.” Apollo waited a beat, letting misery slip into his actions as he weakly continued, “Go on, tell them.”

Klavier looked away, gesturing lightly; “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never said anything about you.”

Apollo raised his voice; “You creep! You think you’re such a big man, don’t you? Trying to make me look like just another tramp.”

Alita stepped forward, and Klavier placed himself between her and Apollo, resting a hand on Apollo’s chest.

“Rizzo, leave her alone.”

Apollo swatted Klavier’s hand off of his chest, and when Klavier turned to look at him, Apollo took a deep, quiet breath.

“I don’t know why I ever liked you, Danny Zuko.”

There was something in the way Klavier’s expression changed that gave Apollo a strange feeling— For a split second, Klavier looked like he’d been slapped in the face, and it almost made Apollo wonder if he’d been a little too convincing with his acting. He didn’t want to dwell on whatever that could have possibly meant, so he finally turned to run off behind the curtain, barely registering Klavier’s slightly-winded call of ‘Sandy!’ as he nearly skidded to a stop once he was safely out of view.

Backstage, where some of the ensemble had been chattering quietly and prepping for the rendition of We Go Together, Apollo reached for one of the spare water bottles, trying not to crinkle the plastic too much as he gulped down the contents. One by one, his classmates filtered out of the area, and Apollo only had moments to get ready as the music started up again.

“We go together, like rama-lama-lama kadingety ding-de-dong…”

Miraculously, the rest of the run-through seemed to go by quickly and relatively painlessly. Up until the end of ‘Beauty School Dropout’ at scene ten, things had proceeded well; By that point, there was only a twenty-minute gap before class ended, and those were usually devoted to the forum where Ms. Vasquez and Lamiroir would give their feedback and students would offer any questions or comments in return. Apollo blessedly heaved a breath of relief— He hadn’t realized exactly how exhausted he was from the entire show until he actually sat down. It didn’t last for too long, however, as he realized that during the forum, Ms. Vasquez was looking at him intently. If it had been Lamiroir, Apollo would have felt more at ease, considering she was the less strict of the two (though she never really seemed to look at much, which he found slightly odd) and he hoped she wouldn’t end up causing a scene or scolding him for something he’d done.

“Mr. Justice,” Ms. Vasquez eventually said, “Do you happen to have any night classes after this?”

Apollo shook his head; “No, I don’t, but…”

Ms. Vasquez gave a clipped ‘hmm’, and then added, “Then Lamiroir and I will need to discuss something with you in a moment. As for the rest of you…” Ms. Vasquez waved a hand dismissively, “You all have nothing more to offer us today.”

The rest of the students slowly began to disband, gathering their bags and supplies and exiting through the auditorium doors (though he noted that Klavier opted to leave through the backstage door, offering him a confused and mildly concerned look before leaving; Apollo appreciated the gesture, despite his nerves.) Eventually, the auditorium was emptied, save for Apollo, Lamiroir, and Ms. Vasquez. To his surprise, Ms. Vasquez stood up and prepared to leave as well, murmuring something under her breath that Apollo couldn’t quite make out… but he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Still, it was a little awkward for him and Lamiroir to be alone together, for reasons he couldn’t quite pinpoint.

“Apollo…” Lamiroir started, and Apollo shook his leg in a nervous tic. “You are aspiring to be a lawyer, correct?”

Apollo looked at Lamiroir, who was avoiding his gaze, and nodded. “Um, yes. Is there…”

“Did you know that I am legally blind?”

Apollo cut himself off, and stared at Lamiroir with a mixture of shock and confusion.

“Are you… wait, really?”

Lamiroir nodded, and continued to speak; “It’s true. Clinically speaking, I cannot see beyond the ability to detect certain lights and shadows, and I have learned to rely on my other senses to guide me through. I do not often tell my students, as it is a rather personal matter to me, and I would prefer to let them believe that I can pass an impartial judgement on their merit beyond my abilities. It is… something I am not proud of, but it is a necessity. However…”: She trailed off, and Apollo felt strangely vulnerable in the moment, “...I think I desire to see again.”

Apollo was speechless.

“My eyesight… while it is damaged, there is a possibility for me to regain a good amount of what was lost. However, I have not desired to have any reconstructive surgery. For a long while, I believed I had lost a part of myself that could no longer return the moment I lost my eyesight. But as this semester has continued, I’ve found that there’s something in me that wishes to return.” A brief, weighted pause, and then, “I wanted to thank you, for helping me recover what I had thought was gone for so long.”

Apollo inhaled sharply.

“What did I do to help? I don’t… I don’t know what else I can say.”

Lamiroir stared ahead, and for the first time, her behavior seemed to finally click.

“I believe there’s something about you that I can’t define. Something special. And though I know acting isn’t the direction you want your life to take, I sincerely hope you know that you’re quite the influential person, whether you truly understand it or not… that is all.”

Apollo looked at Lamiroir one more time, unable to find anything more meaningful to say than a quiet “thank you”, and carefully moved to retrieve his own items and leave the auditorium.

He absentmindedly rubbed his wrist below where his bracelet sat, unable to name what the situation made him feel.


FROM: Trucy
Polly! Daddy accidentally destroyed the office microwave when he forgot to take out a piece of silverware and now the office is a mess, so you probably shouldn’t come in tomorrow.

FROM: Apollo
Your dad never ceases to amaze me.

FROM: Trucy
It’s not his fault, most of the time. He’s accident-prone!

FROM: Apollo
Thank you for telling me, though. I need to catch up on some schoolwork anyway.

FROM: Trucy
Also, a little birdie told me that a certain classmate of yours is looking to hold some sort of concert during spring break!

FROM: Apollo
How do you even know about that???

FROM: Trucy
A true magician never reveals her secrets ;)

FROM: Apollo
...Ominous.

FROM: Trucy
Do you think you can snag us a pair of free tickets?

FROM: Apollo
That’s the game now?

FROM: Apollo
I guess I can try, but I don’t want him to think I’m taking advantage of our friendship.

FROM: Trucy
GASP! You finally admitted that you two are friends??? :O

FROM: Apollo
...Why am I getting a sense of deja vu?