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"Investigate?" Apollo said, his expression revealing he was afraid of what Athena had in mind.

"Indeed. I noticed some strange behavior from Simon last case." Athena nodded.

"The one you did yourself?" Apollo asked. She nodded. "But why do I have to be pulled into this?"

"Because I think it could have something to do with your brother." Athena said seriously. "I think he's found some way to mess with Simon. I don't know how, or why, but we have to investigate!"

Apollo quickly shook his head. "No! No way! I'm not going to have anything to do with the two of them. Their mind games make my head hurt." Athena sighed.

"Wimp." Widget said. Apollo grimaced.

"Widget!" Athena whisper-scolded. "Shush!" She turned back to Apollo. "Come ooooon! It'll be fun!"

Apollo shook his head again firmly. "Nuh-uh, no way." He repeated. "I'm not doing it."

"Uuuugh, you're the worst!" Athena groaned. Then got an idea. "I suppose I should just go ask Trucy. Maybe she'll join me~"

"What?! No! Don't get her involved! Do you have any idea what Mr. Wright would do to me if he found out I let her join you on some kind of suicide mission?!" Apollo screeched, alarmed.

"Suicide mission? What do you mean?" Athena asked, cocking her head.

"Those two are crazy weird. Who knows what Blackquill would do with his horrifying mind manipulation? He could get Trucy to do something stupid!" Apollo explained worriedly. "Mr. Wright would have my head if anything happened to her!"

"Then I guess you know what you gotta do." Athena shrugged. Apollo paused, then glared at her.

"Y-you can't blackmail me!" Apollo objected.

"I just did." Athena shrugged, then grabbed Apollo's wrist and started running out of the agency "Now come on! What are we waiting for?"

"Cases, Athena! Cases!" Apollo shouted. "Now no one's in the office! What if we get a call!?"

"We'll worry about that later! I have a case that needs solving, so come on!" Athena said, rolling her eyes. "And this case is more important!"

"It sounds more like a benefit. If we go against Blackquill, we can use that to our advantage!" Apollo argued.

"He's a person too! And not a bad one at heart, so I'm going to help him!" She called back.

"Mmph, fine." Apollo grumbled, but followed her willfully. "Let's go help the far gone."

Athena glared at him, but kept running. "I think maybe we can find him in his office. If not, the soba shop."

"And if we don't find him there?" Apollo asked.

"Then... I don't know." Athena admit. "But we must investigate, no matter the cost!"

"Why do you want to help him so badly?" Athena stopped so suddenly, Apollo ran into her.

"Because he helped me. I wouldn't've solved that case without him, although I hate to admit it." Athena answered. 

"How was he acting? We need to recount what we know first. We aren't detectives, y'know." Apollo pointed out, pulling out a notepad.

"Well, he was quieter than usual... he also smiled a couple of times."

"WHAT!?" Apollo exclaimed. "He SMILED!? Are you sure we're talking about the right person?"

"You didn't let me finish." Athena continued. "He smiled this kind of scary smile, and it sent chills down my spine. It seemed to do the same to prosecutor Sahdmadhi, as he seemed to glance warily at him."

"Are we sure Nahyuta is the one who did something to Blackquill?" Apollo asked.

"Well, I think so. Because when Nahyuta smiled after proving me wrong, Blackquill flinched, and hid his face for some reason, as though he was embarrassed." Apollo cocked an eyebrow.

"Uh-oh." Apollo muttered.

"What?"

"Well, Nahyuta has that affect with women. Even when we were kids." Apollo shrugged. "I doubt it's for the same reason; maybe Blackquill was embarrassed he'd proven you wrong?"

"Nah, he probably thought it was fun to watch me lose. But he stepped in anyway." Athena shrugged.

"So... I have a couple possibilities already." Apollo said, closing the notebook. "It could be as you said; Nahyuta did some mind game thing to Blackquill. Or, it's nothing, and Blackquill was just a bit sick that day." He took a deep breath. "Or... um..."

"Or...?" Athena pressed, leaning in.

"U-um, nevermind, it's probably just a pointless thought." Apollo said quickly, waving his hand dismissively. Athena cocked an eyebrow.

"Oh reeeeally?" Athena said skeptically, leaning in, stopping only inches away from Apollo's face.

Apollo leaned back. "Y-yes?"

"Okay!" Athena smiled, backing off.

"What are you two doing?" The two jumped, and turned to see Blackquill standing a few feet away.

"N-nothing!" The two squeaked immediately.

"Tch." Blackquill looked up at them slyly. "You two lovebirds getting away from work?"

"Wh-what?!" They exclaimed.

"N-no! No no no, that's not it!" Athena shouted.

"Is... that a bruise on your cheek?" Apollo said. Blackquill immediately tensed up.

"A-ah, well..." He paused, grimacing. "Your brother can hit hard. Nearly knocked me unconscious."

"Wait, do you mean to say he slapped you, and you didn't put up a fight?" Athena gasped.

"W-well," He cleared his throat and went expressionless. "after he hit me, he stormed off while I was still recovering." He began to walk off, then paused. "Oh, Athena. He wanted to see you. Apollo could probably go too." And then he was gone.

"What just happened?" Athena blinked.

"I have no idea." Apollo shrugged. "But we should probably go find Nahyuta. It's not like him to physically hurt anyone. Unless... he was feeling threatened, or something like that."

"Then we need to get the full story. Come on, let's go pay a visit to prosecutor Sahdmadhi." Athena nodded.

 

~

 

"THAT FUCKING SLEAZEBAG!!" Nayhuta shouted, pacing furiously in his room. "How DARE he use his mind games on me! How am I expected to return to the village with such shame on my mind!? I can't believe he would-"

Knock Knock Knock

"WHAT!?" He shouted, slamming the door open. "WHAT DO YOU WANT, YOU RETARDED REVERSE PANDA!?" He opened his eyes, and his face went a deep red.

Athena blinked, then looked at the cowering Apollo behind her. "Um... good to see you too."

"O-oh!" Nahyuta cleared his throat. "M-my apologies. I thought you were prosecutor Blackquill." He then added to himself. "Kinda wished you were too, so I could clock him again."

"What?" Athena asked.

"AH! I wasn't aware I said that out loud! U-uh, p-perish that moment from your memory!" Nahyuta cleared his throat, trying to compose himself. He took a deep breath. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Um..." Apollo stood and cautiously moved to be beside Athena. "Prosecutor Blackquill said you wanted to see Athena."

Nahyuta's eye twitched. "What?" Apollo wimpered, and shed away. Nahyuta cleared his throat, and became expressionless as usual. "I see. Well, I don't see why you believed him, you simple chickadee."

"Hey! I-" Athena took a deep breath. "I just wish to know what you did to Blackquill-"

"ME!?" Nahyuta roared. "HE'S THE ONE WHO K-" Nahyuta quickly slapped a hand over his mouth, and cleared his throat once again.

"-to make him act so strange." Athena finished, then crouched down to coax a terrified Apollo.

"did something?" Nahyuta inquired. "Maybe... that is why he decided to mess with my mind. In the strangest and most disturbing way possible... but still." He nodded to himself. "I must've unintentionally done something... somehow... but how? I daresay I haven't done anything wrong. If I had I would've known."

"Can you tell us the whole story?" Athena asked.

"Well..." Nahyuta paused. "It started a few days ago- the day of my last trial."

"The one where you went up against me?" Athena asked.

"Yes." He nodded. "You see, I had noticed him staring at me strangely throughout the entire trial. If it weren't for him making me quite uncomfortable, you would've lost."

"Mhm, yeah, right." Athena nodded.

"In any case, He made me feel quite unsafe and confused-"

"Wait, why confused?" Athena asked.

"W-well..." He subconsciously began twirling the end of his braid with his finger. "I was confused as to why he would be staring at me..." His eyes nervously darted around. "But that's not what's important right now-"

"Objection!" Apollo shouted suddenly, making Nahyuta jump. "Nahyuta, even as kids, you were a terrible liar! I can always tell when you are untruthful. Unlike most people, you have two nervous habits that show when you're lying."

Nahyuta narrowed his eyes. "Oh? Then what do you suppose made me confused?" He countered.

"W-well, uh, I don't need to know. You're going to tell us." Apollo bluffed.

"It's not important, as I've said." Nahyuta said, forcing his hand to remain still, but his eyes still darted around instinctively. "Might we move on?"

"It is important!" Apollo countered. "Otherwise, you wouldn't be hiding it!"

"Keep this up, and soon I won't be telling you anything." Nahyuta said, narrowing his eyes again. Athena stomped on Apollo's foot. It was all Apollo could do not to cry out in pain. "As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted, I had thought nothing of it after that trial. After some research, I found out he was great at messing with people, so I figured that must've been it. I certainly hope that's it."

Apollo and Athena exchanged a look.

"Until today..." He muttered. "You know what, I do not have to speak to you of this. I don't know why I felt it was a good idea."

"Apparently, according to Widget," Athena began, a screen projected in front of her. "you were surprised, and angered. Why?"

Nahyuta flinched. "I have nothing to say to you." He said quickly, then shut the door in their faces. He was practically fuming once again. He didn't easily get mad, but he was still so confused. Was it just Blackquill's mind games, or was he truly in love with the prosecutor?

By the Holy Mother, I can't be! I am not gay, that is a fact. But was it?


~

 

After Nahyuta had cooled down, he decided to take a walk. So he left his room to go out into the city. He wasn't much of a city person, but maybe he could find some peaceful river to sit by.

He left his room, and began to walk down the halls.

When he turned down one hall, he unintentionally bumped into someone. Something dropped from their neck.

"Oh, you dropped your..." They were gone. Nahyuta looked at the strange contraption in his hands. It looked just like that necklace that defense attorney, Ms. Athena Cykes, wore. Strange.

He slipped it into his pocket. The next time he saw Athena, He would give it back to her.

So careless. How ever did she become a defense attorney? Nahyuta thought, then sighed. Oh, well. 

He then heard a phone ring. He stopped and turned around, noticing he had carelessly left his door open. Nahyuta quickly hurried back to his room, and picked up the phone.

"Hello?" He greeted.

"Is this prosecutor Sahdmadhi?" The man asked.

"Yes, this is he." Nahyuta answered.

"We have a trial for you to prosecute. It would be an honor." He said.

Nahyuta raised an eyebrow. "Alright. Fill me in, I suppose."

"A famous business man was murdered last night. Our prime suspect is a 27 year old woman whose salary had been cut dramatically, and was found at the scene of the crime with the murder weapon still in her hands."

"Hm... your voice sounds rather familiar. Do I know you?" Nahyuta pointed out.

"Whaaaaat? No... I-I don't know you..." The man stuttered.

"Apollo, is that you?"

Click

"Hang up on me, will you?" Nahyuta sighed. "Just what are you up to?"

Pushing that aside, he did end up taking the case, and going down to investigate.

 

~

 

"He knew, Athena!" Apollo shouted, bursting into the Wright Anything Agency.

Phoenix, Maya, and Trucy looked up from what they were doing. "Knew what?" Trucy asked.

"Ah! Sorry sorry sorry! I thought Athena was here..." Apollo said, beginning to back out of the room.

"Oh, I'm here Apollo." Athena said, coming out of the bathroom. "Is something wrong?"

He dashed over to her and took her by the shoulders. "He knew, Athena! He knew!" He cried, shaking her.

"Woah, woah, woah, Apollo calm down! What do you mean 'he knew'- WAIT HE CAUGHT ON!?" She suddenly shouted. 

There was a knock on the door.

"AAAAAAAAAAAA!!" The two screamed, hugging each other. Phoenix walked over to open the door. "DON'T ANSWER THAT!!"

Phoenix looked at them, then back at the door, and opened it. "Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. This is a surprise."

"Are Apollo and Athena here?"

"Well..." He was cut off by the sound of glass breaking. "...They just left."

Nahyuta's eye twitched. He took a deep breath. "Well, alright then. Next time you see Apollo, tell him I took up the case anyway." Without another word, Nahyuta left.

"Well that was... interesting..." Phoenix said, closing the door. "Wait a sec. Aren't we really high up from the ground?"

"Yeah, but I have a super long rope ladder going from the window to the ground, just in case." Trucy assured him, going back to her model of her next big magic trick. "Besides, it's not like they would actually risk death over facing prosecutor Sadmonky."

"Sahdmahi." Phoenix corrected. "And they seemed pretty panicked. I wonder what they did."

"It probably isn't that big a deal, Nick." Maya pointed out, laying back on the couch. "Knowing them, they probably just annoyed him or something."

"Yes, but why would they go out of their way to do that? Something just doesn't add up." Phoenix shook his head.

"You're probably just overthinking things." Maya shrugged.

"Yeah, take a break once in a while." Trucy agreed.

"I suppose..." Phoenix sighed, but he couldn't shake the feeling they were up to something.

 

~The Next Day In The Courthouse~

 

"What are you doing here?!" Nahyuta demanded when he laid eyes on Blackquill.

"Someone called, and asked me to prosecute. So, I took up the case. You?" Simon answered, shrugging.

Nahyuta's hands were shaking. "That damn Apollo. I swear this is his and Cykes' doings."

"Is something the matter, prosecutor Sad Monk?" The self-proclaimed samurai asked tauntingly.

"You would do well not to call me that. Besides, I do believe you owe me an apology." Nahyuta hissed.

"Woah there, feisty. Apology for what?" Simon asked with that sleazy tone Nahyuta despised.

"For-!" He cut off quickly, his face going red. "You know exactly what for! You and your damn mind games!"

"Mind games?" Simon thought for a moment, and then let out a laugh that sent shivers down Nahyuta's spine. "I suppose you could see it that way, although that wasn't quite my intention."

"Th-then what was, you-" Simon put a finger to Nahyuta's lips, making him go quiet immediately and flinch.

"Now, now. Insults don't suit your normally calm demeanor." The corners of his mouth formed a taunting smile. Nahyuta swatted his hand away.

"You polkunan." He growled. "What is wrong with you?" And why do I feel this way towards you!? This is entirely your fault... 

"Nothing is 'wrong' with me, per se, but I suppose anything below your standards must be filth, am I right?" Simon shrugged triumphantly.

Nahyuta opened his mouth to argue, but then realized the trial was in less than a minute. His eyes widened. "I have to go."

"So do I." Simon said, following Nahyuta. Oh that's right. I have the same trial as this reverse panda.

They walked into the courtroom and- surprise surprise- Athena and Apollo were acting as the defense. As the two took their place at the prosecutor's desk, Nahyuta shot a glare at Apollo, who cowered behind Athena.

The sound of a gavel brought everyone to silence. "Order in the court." the Judge said. "Is the defense ready?"

"Y-yes, your Honor." Apollo said, standing straight.

"Is the... prosecution... well this is a surprise." the Judge said, looking at the two.

"Believe me, I had no intention of working with this today, but as it is too late to do otherwise, I suppose there's nothing I can do." Nahyuta growled, glaring at Apollo and Athena.

"The prosecution is ready." Simon said, crossing his arms.

"Alright then. Court is now in session for the trial of Mrs. Perri Keeyt." the Judge then announced. "Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, your opening statement."

"A famous business man, Mr. Heisenburg, was murdered. The defendant, Mrs. Keeyt's salary had been cut dramatically, giving her a motive. Not only that, but was found at the scene of the crime with the murder weapon still in her hands. This alone should be enough to prove that she was the murderer."

"Objection!" Apollo shouted. "She could've seen the knife on the floor and instinctively picked it up-"

"Not according to our eye witness." Nahyuta interrupted. Apollo flinched. "He was there that night, and saw the very moment of the murder. The prosecution would like to call it's first witness, Mr. Deasel Edison to the stand."

A tall man in a navy blue business suit came to the stand, with a hideous yellow tie, and ginger hair.

"Witness, state your name and occupation, please." Nahyuta said.

"My name is Deasel Edison, and I work as a secretary for a small business." He said, almost harshly. 

"Mr. Edison, might you enlighten us on what you saw that night?" Nahyuta asked.

"'Enlighten'? What language are you speaking, Mr. Fancypants?" Mr. Edison demanded rudely. Simon stifled a snicker.

"F-fancypa- excuse me?!" Nahyuta paused, and cleared his throat. "Could you tell us what you witnessed that night?"

"Well, I suppose." Mr. Edison sniffed. "I was going to the boss's office to drop off these files he needed. When I entered the room, that woman had a knife in his chest, and then retracted it. He collapsed on the ground, and I ran to call the police. Terrified, I ran out of the building, and to a nearby phone booth."

"Thank you." Nahyuta said after he finished.

"Seriously though, what is your deal?" Mr. Edison asked.

"Beg pardon?" Nahyuta said, blinking, and narrowing his eyes.

"You some magician or religious fag?" He continued.

"F-fag- HOW DARE-"

"Woah, calm down there, tiger. But even I have to agree that sort of was crossing a line" Simon said, putting a hand on his shoulder. Nahyuta flinched away, and took a deep breath, a soul butterfly landing on his finger.

"Apologies for my outburst, but that was extremely offensive. Now kindly keep you mouth closed, unless you are spoken to." He said calmly, his eyes closed in concentration.

"EXCUSE-"

"Order!" the Judge shouted, banging his gavel. "Witness, please refrain from further offensive outbursts." Mr. Edison almost argued, but must've known better than to argue with a judge, and closed his mouth. "Defense, you may begin your cross examination."

"Thank you." Apollo nodded.

The trial went on, and many objections and points made later, the defense had made connections that pointed to Mr. Edison as the murderer. Although Nahyuta was supposed to make sure to get a 'guilty' verdict, he couldn't help but hope Mr. Edison was proven guilty.

Even so, he had a job to do. 

"Objection! That's where you're wrong, Nahyuta!" Apollo shouted. "Notice that Mr. Edison always wears gloves. His fingerprints wouldn't show up. If you look closely at the knife's handle, it has Mrs. Keeyt's initials on it. Therefore, of course her fingerprints are going to be on there!"

Nahyuta was speechless. He'd run out of objections.

"Silence." Nahyuta paused. Of course Simon had some trick up his sleeve. "Everything you've said all has one flaw. Why, then, was the defendant found by the police, standing over the body with the knife still in her hands?"

"I, uh-"

"Unless you can answer that question with proof to back it up, every claim you have made must be false." Simon stated firmly. He glanced at Nahyuta, who had accidentally let himself look at Simon softly. When he realized (because Simon had smiled), his cheeks warmed, and he quickly looked away. He noticed Athena staring intently at the two of them, as if waiting for something.

"Dammit, why do I love this man?" Nahyuta froze. The entire courtroom went silent. Slowly, Nahyuta reached into his pocket and pulled out that strange necklace that Athena had always worn. He'd forgotten to return it to her. A deep red began to creep onto his face.

He looked up, and Athena's shocked expression slowly turned to a wide grin.

"You..." He breathed, then slammed the contraption on the desk in front of him. "This was your plan all along, wasn't it!?" He shouted, pointing an accusing finger at Athena.

"Me? Never!" She said, but her grin gave her away.

"That was why you dropped it! And why you left the office the moment I was there! You- you polkunan!" He cried. Apollo shrank behind Athena.

The Judge then spoke. "Wait, then does that mean you-"

"The prosecution requests a fifteen minute recess!" Nahyuta interrupted immediately, shutting his eyes tightly, as to shut out all the stares he was getting.

"V-very well." the Judge stuttered, then banged his gavel. "We will now have a fifteen minute recess."

Before Nahyuta stormed out the doors, he threw the necklace at Athena, which hit her squarely between her eyes. As he exited, he heard her shout 'thank you!' after him.

The moment the doors behind him closed, Nahyuta began his rant. "That little sneak! I have never been so humiliated in my entire life! And why?! I don't know- I can never understand these- these bakas!"

"I knew I did something to your mind when I kissed you, but I had no idea I'd gotten you to actually fall in love with me~" Simon taunted.

"Y-you didn't! I don't! Th-there's no proof! That contraption just spouted nonsense!" Nahyuta shouted.

"No, that 'contraption' is Athena's 'mood matrix'. Not only can it sense your mood, sometimes it speaks your thoughts out loud." Simon corrected. "So what Widget, as she calls it, said, was what you were thinking at that moment."

"You- no- I c-can explain! I-it's not like that, there's no way I would ever love a man! Much less you! I-it's against the spirit of the Holy Mother!" Nahyuta argued. "I-It must've read my thoughts wrong! O-or had a malfunction! O-or it was r-reprogrammed! Or-!"

Simon silenced him by kissing him. While Nahyuta had been spouting his own nonsense, Simon had come up behind him, wrapped one arm around him, and used his other hand to move Nahyuta's head to face him by the chin.

At first, Nahyuta wanted to scream. He squirmed desperately to get loose, but Simon's grip was too strong. So he ended up accepting it, and kissing him back. If it was real, then so be it. 

For that moment, Nahyuta threw away everything he believed in- the Holy Mother, tradition, everything. He threw away his responsibilities, his expectations, his orders- and all for this man; one who he hadn't known very well, but immediately fell for the first time they'd kissed, though at first he wouldn't admit it.

And for that moment, he was free.

When they parted, Simon was still holding him tightly against him.

"You know, you're sexy when your angry." He teased, running his thumb over Nahyuta's cheek.

And that was it for Nahyuta. His mind suddenly went blank, and everything went dark. He fainted.

 

~

 

When he awoke, he was on a soft couch. At first, he couldn't tell where he was. Then, as his vision focused, he realized he was still in the courthouse. In the lobby. His memory came rushing back to him, pounding in his brain, giving him a temporary migraine.

When his head cleared, he remembered the case. Simon was nowhere in sight, so he must've been out for longer than fifteen minutes. They had resumed the trial without him.

How can kissing someone give me that much of a different perspective on the world? It's as though I was another person in that moment. He shuddered as he remembered Simon's sleazy comment after they'd parted. Polkunan.

He sat up quickly when he heard the door open. Prosecutor Blackquill stepped out, and walked to Nahyuta's side.

"I see your awake, butterfly." He said calmly. Nahyuta blushed a bit.

"What were the results of the trial?" He asked. Simon smiled.

"Tch. I lost, but I figured you wouldn't be too disappointed. After all, Mr. Edison was proven to be guilty."

"I thought so." Nayhuta sighed, then he smiled back. "But I suppose it's for the best you lost." His smile faltered a bit. "How am I ever going to go home like this?"

"If they were smart, they'd accept you back, just because you're you. They'd be lucky if you go back." Simon shrugged.

"If I go back?"

"Well, you don't think I'm going to just stand by while you leave me forever, do you?" Blackquill pointed out sternly. "Because I'm not."

Nahyuta smiled again, and leaned against Simon.

"Of course I didn't think so, Silly Panda."