foxysquidalso: (apollo)
[personal profile] foxysquidalso
Finally, it's part two!

Argh, sorry for my slowness with this; I've been having health problems.

Title: Moment to Moment, Part 2 (of 3) [part one is here]
Characters/Pairings: Apollo/Klavier
Word count: 3266
Rating: PG13
Warnings: References to murder, death; spoilers for Apollo Justice.
Summary: The captive Kristoph Gavin made his escape--then vanished. Months have passed. His disappearance has had quite an effect on the people he knows, but what will happen when he returns?
Notes: Set in the year following Turnabout Succession.



It had been Phoenix who'd told him what had happened, back at the beginning of the year. "Hey Apollo, got some bad news for you." He'd said it as if the news in question was going to be something along the lines of, It's going to rain today, or, I lost my hat. No, he probably would have sounded more upset if he'd lost his hat. He had a way of not matching his tone to the situation at hand.

"What is it?" Apollo had asked. He'd been wary, but that was because he tended to be wary of Phoenix's pronouncements in general. He hadn't had a reason to suspect anything particularly bad. He'd been more worried that Phoenix might say something annoying.

"Kristoph Gavin's escaped."

"What?" It wasn't that he'd thought it was a joke, because he knew Phoenix wouldn't joke about something like that, but the idea was at once so horrible and so absurd that he hadn't been able to take it in at first. In his initial brief pause of growing realization, some small, hopeful part of his brain told him desperately, He can't be serious, and that was why he said, "You're joking, right?"

Phoenix simply looked at him in reply. It was a telling sort of look, his eyes intense beneath the brim of his beanie.

Apollo belatedly remembered to breathe. "You're not joking. Of course not."

"Nope."

Apollo heaved a sigh. "I didn't really think so. I--" He tried to say something, but he didn't know what to say. What could you say to that? Kristoph Gavin, the man who hated all of them, had escaped from the facility where he was being held. Mr. Gavin, who used to be his mentor. Apollo had once admired him, had turned to him for guidance. He could still remember a time when he'd looked forward to Mr. Gavin's smiles, eager to please him, to do everything right around the office, almost to the point of anxiety.

Phoenix Wright, who was regarding him with a steady gaze, couldn't have been more unlike Kristoph Gavin if he'd tried. It was possible he was trying to do just that, but you never could tell with Phoenix.

"What should we do?" Apollo asked.

Phoenix shrugged. "Nothing to do. He's gone. Vanished. Poof. The police are looking for him, but unless he shows up here, there's nothing we can do."

"That's--it?"

"We're not a private detective agency."

"No, but we're an anything agency."

"An anything agency without a detective. But if you can recruit one, that'd be great, Apollo. They can start right away."

Apollo stared at him. Phoenix wasn't taking this anywhere near seriously enough, in his opinion. It wasn't right for him to joke about everything. This was important! He frowned, and he could feel his face heating. "But if we--"

"If we what, Apollo?"

Phoenix continued to gaze at him levelly, and Apollo realized that he wasn't joking at all. "We don't know where he's gone or what he might be planning to do," said Phoenix. "It could be dangerous for us to go after them. Let the police do their work. That's what they're trained to do."

"What--what do you think he's going to do?" Apollo asked, his voice quiet.

Phoenix shrugged. "If I were him, I'd take into account that old saying: living well is the best revenge. I'd go somewhere far away, start up a new life. I'd leave us behind, to always worry, always glance over our shoulders, never being sure, never feeling safe again. In a way, that really would be the best revenge."

"So you think he'll do that?"

"No," said Phoenix. "I said, 'if I were him'. He's not me."

Apollo shuddered. That was an understatement.

As he walked home, Apollo reflected that Phoenix had been right. If Kristoph had decided to disappear forever and leave them without another word or even a glimpse, it would have been a great revenge. His absence had affected everyone deeply. Klavier had already given up his law career, and now he'd left both his jobs due to the stress, neither performing with the band nor practicing law. Vera, in spite of everyone's best efforts, had all but reverted to her earlier state, refusing to leave her current residence, barely talking to a soul. Trucy was far jumpier than any teenager should rightly be, for all that she tried to act as cheerful as possible. Apollo could see beyond the fa├žade of new magic tricks and old jokes. Even Phoenix, for all his studied nonchalance, was showing signs of strain. Sometimes he forgot to be annoying and could be heard to say a non-sarcastic word.

By the time Apollo made it back to his apartment building, he was nearly as wound up as Klavier. No, maybe not quite so much, but he was tense again and more than a little nervous. He needed to stop thinking about Kristoph. There was no particular reason for him to do so, other than the fact that he'd been spending time with Klavier, which honestly wasn't fair to Klavier. They looked alike, and they were undeniably connected, but Klavier had spent enough time having to deal with his brother. He didn't deserve to be associated with him at all times.

Apollo stepped into the lobby, so much smaller and less shiny than that of Klavier's building. It was more of a "hallway" than a "lobby", honestly, but it was a bit wider than the actual halls and had an elevator, so Apollo gave it the benefit of the doubt. Once he passed through the door, he drew up short. There was an out of order sign on the elevator door. That was weird. Just like the elevator at Klavier's, and he'd so recently been thinking to himself how funny it was that his old, dinky elevator never broke down and that the new, ritzy one had. Well, he'd been wrong. Even his elevator had fallen to--whatever it was that made elevators break.

It looked like he'd have to take the stairs, which he often did anyway. It wasn't a problem, though it was an odd coincidence. He headed for the stairwell at once, but just as he opened the door, his phone rang. He checked his pace and answered it, his hand still on the door, holding it open.

He hadn't checked the number first, so he had no idea who was on the other end as he said, "Hello, Apollo Justice speaking."

"Herr Justice, you're so polite to inform everyone who calls you who they're calling."

"Ha ha. Thanks, Klavier." He paused. It wasn't easy to forget how upset Klavier had been, and his tone quickly shifted from wry to concerned. "Are you okay?"

"You are being very gentlemanly. Yes, thank you, I'm fine." Klavier's voice sounded easy now, and Apollo relaxed. "I wanted to let you know, I called the police station, and they have a few bikes they've recovered, stolen property. I told them one of them might be yours, so they said you were welcome to come by and look whenever you like."

"Really? Thanks, Klavier! That's great."

"It's the least I can do for such a polite gentleman."

"Maybe I'll head down there now. I need that bike." Not having it would make getting back and forth from the office to court to his apartment either a hassle or expensive, or both.

"Ja, I know how you feel about your bike. Your close relationship is so touching."

"Um, yeah." Klavier made things a bit too weird sometimes. He shook his head. "I guess so. I do ride it a lot." He didn't understand why that made Klavier start to laugh. He was a little annoyed by this. He realized that he had been standing in the hallway-like lobby holding the door to the stairs open for no good reason. He let the door fall closed, though as he did so, he registered the fact that the stairwell beyond was oddly dark.

Klavier had recovered from his laughing fit by the time Apollo was heading out of the door. "I apologize for my behavior earlier. I know I was being irrational."

"No, you were fine! Don't worry about that."

"You're so good to me, Herr Forehead."

"Hey, come on, don't push it." Apollo was annoyed by this nickname, as always, but he found himself smiling, too.

"I keep telling you, a big forehead is a sign of great intelligence. You should be flattered."

"Yet somehow, I'm not."

"I'll have to do something to prove to you how much I love that big forehead."

"Ha ha, cut it out, Klavier." Apollo's face felt hot, and he was glad Klavier wasn't there to see, or he'd have made fun of him for it.

"Ja, I'll go easy on you, since you were my hero today."

"I'm not a hero."

"You leave it up to me to decide who my hero is."

Apollo shook his head. He did try to help people out, but "hero" was overstating things. "Whatever you say."

***


If certain things had taken a little more time or a little less time, everything would have gone so differently. That gave Apollo pause as he looked back over the events of that night later. It had all been but a matter of chance: the bike, Klavier, the elevators, the stairwells. Not to mention the parade.

The parade was one of the strangest things Apollo ran across that night, though not the very strangest. The last thing he'd expected to see in LA after dark was a major road shut down and lit up--and riotous--with the clamor and color of an actual parade. Apollo stopped and stared, trying to figure out what was going on. It wasn't a holiday, was it? No. It certainly wasn't Vasco da Gama Day. That was months away, and Senators' Day had just been a few weeks ago. It wasn't any particular occasion that he could recall, and yet there it was. There were bands playing, and, as he saw to his surprise, elephants marching. He felt like he'd stepped into a dream. A loud, annoying dream.

A majorette in a sparkling leotard marched past, tossing her baton into the air. A clown in a curly glittering wig zipped by, riding on some contraption that had been done up to look like a lion. The clown caught sight of Apollo in the crowd, turned, and honked his nose at him. Apollo blinked as the clown sped off and did the same to a group of squealing children. That settled that. He couldn't get to the police department using his usual route, which would have taken him down that very street.

If not for the parade, he wouldn't have had to walk six blocks out of the way in the dark and take forever to get to the police station. By the time he got there, he wished he hadn't bothered to come. It wasn't as if it was that urgent. He could go at least a couple more days without his bike. But at a certain point, he'd walked so far, he felt that he was committed to the action. He didn't want to go all the way back without accomplishing anything.

He gave his name to the desk sergeant at the station and said that Klavier had sent him. She nodded, understanding what he was talking about right away, so he didn't have to launch into a complicated explanation. Finally, something was going right this evening. "Oh, yes, I've got a note here about that. Hold on, I'll get the detective..."

"It's not that big a deal," he protested. "You don't need to ask a detective--"

But the desk sergeant had already gone ahead, ignoring him. He guessed they were more likely to listen to prosecutors, even prosecutors who were on sabbatical, than defense attorneys here, so if Klavier had given instructions, she was going to follow them to the letter and not pay him any attention. He might as well resign himself to that fact. He waited patiently for the detective to arrive, wondering if by some chance if was going to be Ema, not that she was likely to follow any of Klavier's orders.

"Hiya, pal!"

Apollo turned at the sound of the cheery voice and found himself looking up at a large, unkempt, trenchcoated detective who was definitely not in any way Ema, not even a little. In fact, you could have said he was the opposite of Ema and gotten away with it, because no one would have argued with you there. "Um, hi," said Apollo uncertainly. "Er, pal."

"So you're the little guy Mr. Gavin was telling me about!"

"Little--guy?"

"Yeah, right, Apple Juice!"

"Apple--Juice?" Apollo blinked, more bewildered than when the clown had honked its nose at him.

"Kind of a funny name, I thought, but you do dress in red like an apple, and you've even got a stem up top, so I guess it fits. Though apple juice doesn't have stems. And it isn't red. But I get it." The man held out a hand. "Nice to meet you, Apple. The name's Gumshoe. That's Detective Gumshoe to you."

"Th-thanks, Detective." Apollo didn't know where to begin where correcting him was concerned, so he didn't try. Maybe he was too tired out after all the walking he'd done. He remembered seeing this guy around, but he'd never had any direct dealings with him before. He was beginning to think this meeting might shed at least a little light on how criminals managed to steal a bike more or less from the very steps of the courthouse.

"No problem. I remember what it was like when I lost my bike as a kid." He sighed, his manner suddenly changing, upbeat shifting to downhearted.

"What happened?" Apollo ventured, realizing at once that he shouldn't have asked. Why had he asked? He wasn't even able to follow the story that followed. It had something to do with a shopping trip, a dozen eggs, a magic trick gone wrong, and a Shriners' Convention. Or was it some other convention? He kept calling it different names. For instance, Miners' Convention, which was something Apollo had never heard of before, but it was possible that miners had conventions. There was no reason for them not to. By the end of the story, Apollo found himself nodding numbly, willing to agree to anything just to get the story to end. "That's really sad."

"And I was never able to get that stuff out of my ear. I think it's still in there, rattling around. Sometimes I can't hear so good."

"That's a shame," said Apollo quickly, catching on that if he didn't stop the detective soon enough, this would turn into another story, this one about the misadventures caused by his poor hearing. "Look, about my bike. Prosecutor Gavin said--"

"Right, the bikes! Come with me, pal. We've got a lot of them. I've been sorting them out in the evidence room, tryin' to find the ones I thought might be a good fit for ya."

What exactly had Klavier told him? Apollo didn't think that could have been it. "But I don't want an evidence bike that's a 'good fit'. I want my bike."

Detective Gumshoe looked him over again. "We've got a few I think'll do just fine."

Apollo sighed, but he decided he might as well go through with this, as there was a chance that this would end well and he'd get his bike back. Unfortunately, he learned quickly enough that that was not to be the case. It was easy to figure out, as the first bike the detective wheeled out of the evidence room was a portent of things to come. Apollo stared at it, temporarily dumbfounded.

"It's a nice one, right, pal?"

What could he say? He tried to go for the indirect approach. "There are streamers coming off the handlebars."

"They're pretty ones, aren't they?"

"They're--pretty, all right. But there's a flower on the basket."

The detective looked wary. "Y'don't like flowers?"

"No, flowers are great, but my bike is red."

Gumshoe didn't seem so concerned by this. "Pink's close enough. It's in the same color family. Real nice."

Finally, Apollo had to come out and state the obvious. "It's a girl's bike."

"Well--" Detective Gumshoe, too, seemed to be reluctant to say something, but he came out and said it anyway. "You are kinda short, pal."

After the first bike, things didn't get any better. Apollo left the station feeling utterly dejected and even less like he'd ever see his bicycle again. With cops like these, who needed criminals? Technically, lawyers did, since their jobs revolved around them, but that wasn't the point. Actually, maybe it was. Maybe he could defend the police when they were charged with gross negligence. The vengeful little thought cheered him as he began to make his way home.

This cheer, founded as it was on spite, was short-lived. It faded in the cool and dark of the evening. So far, this night seemed to be nothing but a series of random, mostly irritating events. He went over them in his mind once more for good measure. It was hard to stop thinking about what had happened, while he was in the middle of this long trek home that was the result. He thought, again, that it had been a strange coincidence that both his and Klavier's elevators had been out of service. If he wasn't mistaken, now that he thought of it, the light in his building's stairwell had been out, too. No longer distracted by the possibility of getting his bike back, he considered that anew.

Wait a minute.

It was a lot weirder than he'd realized. Initially caught up in his readiness to be home and then his readiness to get the bike, he hadn't taken the time to think about it clearly. He suddenly felt cold, reminded of Kristoph. He remembered the way the light gleamed on Kristoph's glasses, the way he'd felt whenever Kristoph had looked at him while his eyes were hidden behind that icy white glare. It had felt like being studied beneath the lens of a microscope.

He asked himself what would have happened if Klavier hadn't called him. What if I'd gone up the stairs? He felt the sudden urge to turn around and run back to the police station, but he stifled it. What could he tell them? That two elevators and the lights in two stairwells had coincidentally malfunctioned? There hadn't seemed to be anyone around, and no one had been acting as if it were an odd occurrence. No, it was only a feeling. A bad feeling.

He'd once trusted Kristoph. Why wouldn't he have trusted his mentor, the man who had given him so much? Yet from the very start, underlying that trust there had been something else, something he hadn't analyzed at the time. It had been an instinct. He'd felt it every time Kristoph's hand had settled on his shoulder: a quickening of his heart, his muscles tensing. He'd wondered, at the time, if it had been a strong, unexpressed emotion, like love. It had been an emotion, as he'd finally realized, but that emotion had been fear. He felt it again now.
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