“What the actual shit is wrong with you.”
If Apollo’s eyes hadn’t already been closed, he would have shut them in irritation. Athena’s entrance into the agency had made the bell on the door jingle, and she had let it fall shut behind her—not helping his headache at all. He opened his eyes, trying to look up at Athena, but only making it to the coffee table. The donuts they had gotten for lunch sat there, cardboard container open and exposing them to the stale air. Apollo leaned forward to shut the box.
Did Trucy take the last maple bar…?
“Don’t just ignore me!” Athena cried out, sitting down next to Apollo on the loveseat. He closed his eyes again, eyebrows furrowing.
“Answer the question. What’s so wrong with you that the Boss is asking me what’s up?”
Apollo barked out a laugh, then wished he hadn’t, as it made his brain feel like it was a slice of jello on top of a speaker.
“Yeah, when Mr. Wright is concerned, I’m clearly about to keel over.”
“Hey.” Athena looked sad. “You know he cares about you, right?”
“Athena,” Apollo started, then decided to stop. He tried again. “Athena, when someone makes fun of you and makes you clean their bathroom all the time, that means they don’t like you.”
Athena paused, uncomfortable.
“You have a lot of discordance in your heart, Apollo. Do you want to talk about it?”
“Are you stupid or something?” Apollo snapped. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. Please forgive me.”
“It’s okay, I know you didn’t.”
The door jingled again, and Apollo considered setting himself on fire.
“Prosecutor Gavin?” Athena said incredulously.
Ah shit. I forgot that was today. Is his hair in a bun?
“Hello, fraulein . I hate to let the door swing, but I’m here to grab Herr Forehead.”
Athena frowned. Apollo stood, grabbing his briefcase from where it sat beside his desk.
“No, I understand. I hope I can see you soon, when you aren’t so...busy.”
“Me as well. Now, Forehead, if you’re ready?” Klavier did an odd little half-bow, motioning to the door, and Apollo half-smiled as he stepped out of the office.
“Bye, ‘thena.” He called, then blew out a breath as the door closed. He continued when he and Klavier made it down to the sidewalk, hoping it was far enough away from Athena’s ears. “I hate that nickname.”
“ Was …? Oh, sorry. Just trying to…keep up appearances.”
They walked in silence to the cafe a few blocks over, Apollo appreciating the fresh air. The sun shone down onto the concrete, and Apollo closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
Klavier had started it; he’d come by the agency one day with a coffee, asking him to review files together for the case they were on. They’d met in Klavier’s office the first time, genuinely looking over case notes, but when Klavier came by the week after (when neither of them had a case, so it was clearly an excuse) Apollo had insisted they go somewhere else. ‘Too close to Mr. Wright’s husband’ had been his explanation, but really he had just wanted to see Klavier in a place that wasn’t related to work. It was easier to pretend it was a real date that way.
“I don’t think Mr. Wright knows how to open a window. The air in the agency feels like it was the same air the construction workers trapped in there, sawdust included.”
“Is the agency made of wood? I always thought it was brick.”
“No, trust me, half of my lungs are made out of chips and splinters. I know wood when I see it.”
Klavier laughed. Apollo smiled, looking down at the sidewalk.
“Do you want to sit inside or on the patio?” Klavier asked.
They sat outside (“For your poor lungs’ sake”, Klavier said), underneath a faded green umbrella. Apollo rested his head on his folded arms, closing his eyes with a sigh.
“You know, Herr Justice,” Klavier started, in the tone that Apollo knew meant he was leaning forward and pretending to check his nails.
His tits are probably out. God.
“You don’t look like you’re doing too well. Do you want to go somewhere else?”
“We just got here…? Where else would we go?” Apollo sat up, squinting at Klavier.
“We already agreed we wouldn’t go to your office anymore.”
“No, I mean. My house.”
“You have a house ?”
“What—of course I have a house! Do you think I just sleep on Herr Edgeworth’s carpet?”
“Well yeah, I mean no, I just...in this economy? A house? I thought you’d have, like, an apartment or something…”
“Not to brag, Herr Justice, but I am a rockstar and a prosecutor. I have the income to afford a house.”
Sounds like bragging to me .
“Damn prosecutors…” Apollo mumbled.
“If you hate working for Herr Wright so much, why don’t you quit?” Klavier frowned. Apollo frowned back, furrowing his eyebrows.
“Why is everyone asking me about Mr. Wright today?”
“Well, I haven’t talked to a lot of people today, I guess. Just you, Trucy, and Athena. But Athena asked me too! So two-thirds.”
“It’s pretty obvious you don’t want to work there anymore. You’re exhausted, you smell like artificial lemon all the time, and you were complaining about your lungs…”
“What’s wrong with lemons?” Apollo asked, confused.
“... cleaners , Apollo. You smell like an empty hospital room.” Klavier rested his chin on his palm. “I’m just worried for you.”
“Don’t be so forward.”
“You’re working yourself to the bone, Apollo, I can’t just watch my...my,” Klavier faltered, suddenly unsure.
“I’m fine. I’m fine!” Apollo insisted, but he lowered his arms back to his side, suddenly unsure himself.
If Athena, Klavier, and even Mr. Wright have noticed…?
“...am I really doing that bad?” He asks, putting a hand on his bracelet.
“No. I mean,” Klavier looked sheepish. “You look like you aren’t doing well. I’m not in your head, obviously, but I am worried for you. I don’t want to make it about myself, but, I don’t know what I would do if you were, ah, gone.”
Apollo stops, vision tunneling to look for any tells that Klavier is lying. But none of the regular ones (messing with his bangs, fiddling with his necklace, twisting his rings) were there. He was glancing off to the side, yes, but he wasn’t lying.
“It freaks me out when you do that up close.”
“Sorry,” Apollo blinked, vision slowly returning to normal.
God, that really didn’t help my headache.
“Listen, um,” Klavier started.
“I didn’t mean to freak you out. It’s honestly a subconscious thing at this point.”
“No, no! Don’t worry about it, it’s only a little scary to think about how I can’t lie to you.”
“Well, technically you could, I would just know about it.”
“Then what would be the point?” Klavier sighed, putting his chin in his hand again. “Can you lie?”
“...yes. It doesn’t make me unable to lie. But I can’t lie in front of Trucy, because she’d know.”
“Does she have the same power as you?” Klavier asked, furrowing his eyebrows. Apollo blinked.
“Uh, yeah. At least, it works like mine. Her and Mr. Wright taught me how to use it.”
Klavier opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. Apollo looked at him, feeling the wind blow against his hair.
“...what?” He finally asked.
“Are you two ready to order?”
The waitress smiled, clicking her pen.
“Yeah, sure. Can I get an iced caffè mocha and a cranberry muffin, please?”
Klavier narrowed his eyes, but rattled off his order to the waitress as well. Apollo smiled at her until she left, then he put his head back on his arms, closing his eyes.
“The last thing you need is that much caffeine.” Klavier said.
“It’s only one espresso shot.” Apollo mumbled, feeling the sunshine on the right side of his face.
“You know how strong they brew those here.”
“Still, it’s only one.”
“Apollo, you look like you’re about to keel over. You need sleep.”
“I still have,” Apollo thought for a few seconds. “About six hours of work left.”
At that, Klavier said nothing. Apollo took deep breaths, enjoying the fresh air and the excuse to get out of the damn office. Office or courtroom, that’s where he spent his life; he’d been catching the little sleep he got on the agency’s loveseat. It was sad, sure, but it was more irritating than anything, Apollo thought. At least at night, when no one was there, Apollo could listen to the hum of the air conditioning in peace. He wasn’t sure Phoenix knew he’d been sleeping at the office, Apollo made sure he always woke up before he was in.
Getting made fun of at 6 in the morning isn’t my cup of tea .
Maybe he was exaggerating how much Phoenix made fun of him, maybe he was a bit sensitive, a bit of a crybaby. That’s why he didn’t do anything about it, really; complaining to Klavier occasionally didn’t count. Klavier. Apollo wasn’t sure what he’d do if Klavier hadn’t started coming by with those invitations to spend the afternoon in his office. Apollo would sit on the floor (how Klavier got by with no table or chairs in his work office , he had no idea) and stare at him, the way he bit his pen when he was reading through evidence lists, the way he messed with his bangs when he was nervous, the way he always wore too much metal for a Wednesday afternoon. Apollo had though he looked just like Kristoph when he first met him, but the difference was all in the details. He had a different undertone; Klavier was a relaxed blue while Kristoph had always been an angry, restrained red.
Sometimes, Apollo wished Klavier would lean over and kiss him already. Maybe Apollo was overthinking it, but sometimes he felt Klavier looking at him, too. Apollo wondered what he was looking at—did he see anything special in the way Apollo handled his briefcase, or maybe Apollo sat in a way that caught his attention.
“Apollo. The drinks are here.”
Apollo opened his eyes, face flushing. He sat up, taking the drink Klavier handed him.
Did I really fall asleep? Embarrassing.
“This isn’t my order.” Apollo frowned. Klavier bit his bottom lip, pushing Apollo’s muffin over.
“I got you an iced chai instead.”
“...how did you know I liked chai?”
“I-I think everyone likes chai in one way or another.” Klavier ruffled his bangs.
“Sure.” Apollo took a sip of the chai, anyway, looking at his caffè mocha on Klavier’s side of the table. “I’m only going to crash later though, and that’ll be really embarrassing for everyone involved.”
“I’d think they would be worried.” Klavier muttered.
“Athena, maybe. Mr. Wright would laugh, though.”
“Is he really so mean? You tell me all these things, and I know you’re not a liar. It’s just so...disconcerting to think that this is the same man in the pictures on Herr Edgeworth’s desk.”
“I don’t know,” Apollo mumbled, taking a sip of his chai again. “I’m probably just imagining it.”
Klavier looked at Apollo’s hands, frowning. He messed with his bangs again, then sighed.
“Let’s go back to my place. Please, Herr Justice, I beg; I can owe you a favor in return.”
“A favor…? Is me going back to your place going to help you in some way?”
“It will help me feel better about your health, yes.”
Apollo bit the inside of his cheek, considering. His head still hurt, and he really didn't want to go back to the office; he was tired, despite how he thought Klavier was overreacting in that regard.