Fandom: Ace Attorney
Word Count: 3132
Rating: R (Warnings for some thematic stuff)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything in the Ace Attorney series. I just sit back and enjoy TEH LAWYER GHEY :D
Apollo refused to let Klavier take his shirt off.
Even during sex.
On most days, even when he wasn’t needed in court, he tended to favor the simplicity of the classic white button-up look, frequently without the vest on non-working days. He was, in no way, as fashionably outlandish as Klavier himself could be. Simple worked best. It was one of the many ways in which opposites attracted; in this case, opposites attracted and sparks flew.
At first, Klavier thought it was a kink. Plenty of people thought partially-clothed sex was hot; Klavier himself happened to be one of them. And so at first, it didn’t bother him too much. But eventually he wanted to see all of Apollo, naked and adorable and writhing on the bed. And that’s where he got his first inkling that there might be something more to it.
Getting the shirt unbuttoned was the easy part; Apollo didn’t seem to mind that, if all the little sounds he made were to be believed as Klavier’s fingers ran over bare chest. But if he tried to push the shirt off his shoulders and tug it off, Apollo would tense and squirm and occasionally even hold onto the garment directly to keep it in place.
On a couple of occasions, Klavier even tried to ask, but he couldn’t seem to get a response. Apollo would withdraw completely, shake his head, change the subject, or on one occasion, do something incredibly unexpected. It had to be said that the defense attorney had an incredibly gifted mouth when he was desperate to divert attention, and so the issue was momentarily forgotten in favor of orgasmic bliss.
Once, Klavier came in and heard the shower running. Logically, there was only one person who could be in there, and so he thought it might be nice to surprise his darling Forehead. But he was shocked to peek behind the shower curtain and inquire if Apollo wanted some company…only to have the defense attorney press his back flat to the wall and decline in a rush.
…that one actually hurt.
It hurt both of them, really. It was a full day before Apollo would even look at Klavier.
At some point, it clicked: the point really didn’t seem to be the shirt. It was his back. Apollo, for whatever reason, didn’t want Klavier to see his back. It was the most bizarre thing, and while the prosecutor entertained many potential scenarios for such a paranoia, none of them seemed realistic or plausible, given the few clues he had to work with.
He even tried to approach it as a prosecutor would approach a case for investigation, feeling strangely guilty for viewing his lover as an impromptu suspect in a nonexistent crime. But the clues were too few to work with. And Forehead remained very tight-lipped about the matter, even when directly asked. It seemed that solving this particular mystery was ultimately either going to be a matter of Apollo spilling, Klavier tearing Apollo’s shirt off (not that he would have necessarily minded tearing Apollo’s clothes off, but he suspected that Apollo would not find it as entertaining or as arousing, given the state of affairs), or some chance moment of pure dumb luck.
In the end…it sort of wound up being all three.
It appeared that the storm of the century was jackhammering at the windows and walls of Klavier’s apartment. He stood at the window and watched the sheets of rain pelt against the glass. Hopefully the power wouldn’t go out. It seemed the perfect opening for some sort of horror movie. How did the English storytellers start tales like this? Something about it being a dark and stormy night?
Klavier had never exactly understood that. If it was night, wouldn’t it be dark by default?
Ach. English was such a strange tongue.
A glance at the ornate clock on the wall proved that it was, indeed, getting late. Forehead was there for the night (a fact that never failed to make Klavier want to sing for happiness); the diminuitive defense attorney had retired a mere moment before to change for bed. The silly boy always insisted on wearing pajamas to bed, even if he knew full well that they weren’t going to make it through the night intact.
Sighing, he turned away from the window and headed towards the bedroom as silently as possible, with every intention of sneaking up on Apollo and tumbling him into bed. The boy was so cute when he was flustered like that, and he had gotten caught in the rain at the very beginning of the storm, so his usual spike of hair was now plastered to his expansive forehead.
The door was open the tiniest crack, which meant there was no chance of the doorknob being heard. Grinning to himself, the rock star carefully pushed the door open and slipped into the room…
Apollo was standing there in his pajama bottoms…with his shirt in his hand.
And his bare back to Klavier.
Thanks to the glow of the lamp on the bedside table, there was no chance of missing the marks. Long, deep scars criss-crossed across his back, marring the beautiful pale skin, obviously old, but glaringly visible, and there was no doubt at all that they had been extremely painful when inflicted. There were far too many of them.
Klavier belatedly realized that he must have gasped or made a sound of some kind because Apollo stiffened and snapped around to stare at him, his eyes as big as the tires on Klavier’s motorcycle.
There was a very long moment in which neither of them spoke or moved. The only sound was the rain.
“Forehead…” Klavier took a step towards him, then another, slowly crossing the room on legs that had started shaking of their own accord. “What was—“
Apollo’s face had gone ghostly pale, and he was visibly shaking as he tried to get his arms into the sleeves. He mumbled something that sounded vaguely like a disclaimer, looking down at the floor.
Klavier managed to get close enough to grab the garment and tug it away; the last thing he wanted to do was hurt his Forehead, but he was curious and worried…he just needed to know what this secret was that Apollo guarded so desperately. If it had left him physically scarred like that, there was no way it could be something harmless…
He got his hands on Apollo’s bare shoulders, feeling the tremors under his fingers. “Forehead—“
As if to make things worse, the lights chose that moment to flicker…and then go out entirely. And a crack of thunder rolled across the sky, loud and harsh enough to shake the entire building.
Apollo let out a cry and pushed at Klavier, as though frightened—
—Klavier was caught off guard and fell, but held on—
—and through some miraculous twisting of limbs and bodies, Apollo managed to end up face-down on the bed, Klavier sprawled haphazardly atop him.
The reaction was immediate: Apollo started shaking and pushing at the bed, clawing at the blankets, trying to escape from something—but what?—and letting out tiny cries and whimpers, almost like pleas, of Let me go and Please don’t...
Alarmed and with no experience at handling this sort of outburst, Klavier did the only thing he could think of. He managed to get his arms around Apollo, not letting him run, and started talking to him, babbling whatever nonsense came into his worried mind. “Shh…baby, Forehead, it’s me, it’s just me, and I’m not going to hurt you…please, it’s me…Apollo!”
He said the attorney’s name a bit more harshly than he had intended, and it worked; Apollo froze, both hands clutching fistfuls of the comforter. He panted a little, glancing back over his shoulder at Klavier through the darkness. “Y-you…Klavier, it’s just you…” He fell limply against the bed, still murmuring to himself. “Just you…it’s just you…”
There was usually a little song in the rock star’s heart at the sound of his name on Forehead’s lips, especially given how long it had taken him to get the boy to actually call him by that instead of the formal title of ‘Prosecutor Gavin.’ But now that tune was muted by worry.
“Ja, Forehead…only me…” he murmured, feeling a little silly for it. But the moment seemed right, and he sat up and straddled Apollo’s waist, running his hands across his back; the scars were visible to his fingertips in the dark, the skin rough and raised. There seemed to be so many of them, and they were so big... “Forehead, what is this?”
“I c-can’t tell you.”
No answer, but every muscle in his body was stretched taut and tense.
Klavier sighed. “Apollo…” he opted for the attorney’s true name instead of the nickname. “Please, baby. Tell me.” His fingers paused at one that was especially bad, and he closed his eyes on instinct, though it made no difference with the lights off. “Tell me who hurt you like this.”
“I can’t…” Apollo murmured into the dark red comforter. “It won’t make a difference, and you’ll—“ He stopped himself suddenly, as though afraid to continue that thought verbally.
“I’ll…what?” Klavier asked, confused. “Please, Apollo…just tell me who did this to you.” There was a breath of space, of silence between them, in which he wasn’t sure what would happen, if maybe he had pushed too hard or too far.
Then, to his amazement, Apollo spoke in the barest whisper. “…I was eight. Foster father.”
Klavier blinked. “Foster?”
“A family I lived with for a while,” Apollo mumbled. “My parents died when I was a baby.”
“And your…foster father did this to you?” he repeated in disbelief. A motion of the head that Klavier took to be a nod in response. “Why would he—“
“Because I told him to leave me alone!”
It was like something had broken, and all the things Apollo had tried so desperately to hide or keep secret by hiding behind that piece of thin white cotton just came spilling out of him at once. Chances were that he didn’t even realize what he was saying. “He did horrible things to me and he said it was punishment because I was bad, even though I tried to be good, and I know what it’s called now, but all I wanted him to do was stop and leave me alone…”
While the panicked words kept pouring out, Klavier tried to add up the points as he heard them, one by one. A foster father—someone who had taken Apollo in, no blood relation. Horrible things. Punishment for allegedly being bad. Something about the night…
…oh god, no.
Before Klavier realized what he was doing, he had shifted to roll Apollo over onto his back. He just needed to see his face, his eyes. And even in the darkness, there was no mistaking what he saw in Apollo’s wide eyes. It was like he wasn’t even looking at the Forehead he so often faced off against in court, now splayed in his bed. He could almost see a younger version of Apollo Justice, eight years old and terrified and huddled in the corner to try and hide from what was happening to him…
He wanted to reach out to that child.
“What did they do to him?” Klavier asked, giving Apollo a small shake. In the back of his mind, he was mentally calculating how he would have prosecuted the case and the penalty he would have pressed for, for the man who hurt Apollo or any person who would dare to use a child like that.
“…nothing. Not for that…”
“How could they not punish him for that?”
“In order for them to p-punish him…” Apollo trailed off and fell silent as he slung one arm across his face, covering those eyes. His famous Chords of Steel cracked harshly on the last word.
It took a moment for that to click, and Klavier’s shoulders slumped. “…they would have had to know it was going on.” He paused. “You never told.” It was not an accusatory statement, but merely the acknowledgement of a sad fact.
A nod. It was much easier to see in the dark now that his eyes had adjusted a bit. “I didn’t even know what it was called…and no one would have believed me…would’ve just made more trouble…” His voice was dull and lifeless now, verbalizing a rhetoric that he had clung to just as desperately in childhood, well over a decade ago.
“Never t-told anyone. Just you, y-you’re the only one…” Apollo added after a moment. “M-made myself forget…I sh-shouldn’t have t-told you…”
Made himself forget? Klavier had heard of people who blocked out traumatic events, though he had never seen or experienced it firsthand. The human mind was capable of any number of things. But he had also heard it said that if those memories broke loose and the walls built around them crumbled, the result could be devastating.
And looking down at Apollo, who seemed to be getting worse by the second…it seemed to ring true.
It was one of the few times in his life that Klavier had felt utterly helpless. The last time he felt like this was when he watched his older brother take the stand in the Vera Misham trial…
And just like that time, he didn’t know what to do.
Apollo was trying to pull away now, shaking and seemingly terrified. If he got away now…would he ever come back? Klavier wasn’t sure, but he didn’t want to take the risk. Swallowing hard, he pulled the arm away from Apollo’s face and got both his arms around the slight frame. “Shh…” he murmured over and over again, trying to sound soothing while his own jangling nerves were happily making more noise than his band ever had managed in practice.
He kept doing that, feeling the tremors slowly ebb. Finally, Apollo lay still, curled against Klavier with his face pressed against the prosecutor’s chest. His breathing evened out at last; slender fingers clutched at the front of Klavier’s shirt.
“…Apollo?” Klavier asked after a moment of silence, and got a shake of the head in response. He didn’t want to talk. “You want to sleep, ja?” A nod. Klavier sighed, and pressed a kiss to Apollo’s hair. “Goodnight, then…”
Neither of them moved for the rest of the night, though it took a while for Klavier to doze off. And Apollo was gone when he woke up the next morning.
There was a playground.
Children were running all over, playing and laughing happily with their friends.
In the corner of the playground was a sandbox.
A small, plain wooden container, its paint faded and peeling from age.
And in that sandbox sat a boy.
He sat alone, watching the others play, and made no move to join them.
Neither of them was due in court for the several days following the night of the storm, which meant that Klavier had no ready excuse to see Apollo. And Apollo wasn’t initiating any contact. So two days after the outburst in the darkened bedroom, Klavier went to his lover’s apartment.
He knocked and waited apprehensively; the door opened a moment later.
The look on Apollo’s face was not entirely surprised, nor was it resentful of what could be called an intrusion. But he wouldn’t meet Klavier’s eyes directly. “Hey…” was all he said.
“Can I come in?”
Apollo hesitated, then stepped aside to let him in and closed the door behind him.
But before Klavier could say a word, Apollo burst out, “I’m sorry!” He was facing the door, his back tense. “I’m sorry about…that.” There was no question as to what he meant. “I shouldn’t…” He fumbled for words for a moment before sighing. “I shouldn’t have lost it like that. I’m sorry.”
Klavier moved behind Apollo, hesitated, then slid his arms around the smaller man’s shoulders. There was a fleeting sense of déjà vu to the moment, an imitation of something that had happened a good amount of time before, back when they were just finding each other…
—standing with his forehead pressed to his office door, trying to decide whether or not to just run from the place as his world fell apart and collapsed around him one brick at a time—
—hesitant arms around him from behind—
—a warm presence and a soft voice saying it would be okay—
“It’s okay,” he said. After a moment, he turned Apollo around and took in his Forehead’s face, one thumb brushing against the dark circles beneath his eyes. “You haven’t slept…have you eaten?”
Apollo shook his head and looked down. “Trying to sort things out, that’s all.”
“Nein, nein…” Klavier shook his head, muttering something in German, and took Apollo’s hand. “First, you are going to nap. Then you are going to eat. Then we are going to talk.”
“Forehead, I don’t know where you got the crazy idea that you were going to deal with this alone. But you’re not,” Klavier said firmly. “Even if I have to drag you to talk to someone.” To his own amazement, he smiled, and found it surprisingly easy to do so. “You don’t have to prove anything, Apollo. It’s okay to not know what to do.”
Any response Apollo might have had was lost in a huge yawn that threatened to crack his face in two, and he rubbed at his eyes. Coupled with his small build and the fact that his bangs were hanging in his face, he looked far younger than he was.
Klavier chuckled. “Sleep first, ja?”
Apollo nodded…and wrapped his arms around Klavier, pressing his famous forehead to the prosecutor’s shoulder. “You’ll stay, right?” He was shaking again, ever so slightly. It was nothing visible, but the physical contact made it very obvious. Newly resurfaced memories combined with exhaustion…
“If you like.”
“Good…” the response was a soft murmur. “…you’re safe…”
“Come on, Herr Forehead. Let’s get you to bed,” he said. “I’ll be right here when you wake up.”
Klavier reached out a hand to the child. “Shall we go?”
The boy, all of eight years old, looked back at him with frightened, familiar eyes. “I can’t.”
“Because I’ll get hurt.”
“Nein,” Klavier shook his head. “Not when you’re with me.”
The boy looked wary, but hopeful. “Do you promise?”
“Ja. I swear it,” he smiled. “Let’s go. There are lots of other things to do.”
The boy hesitated…and took Klavier’s hand. He crawled out of the sandbox.
And they walked together.
PS. I debated really long and hard over whether or not to post this one. For one thing, it's not the sort of thing I usually write. Number two, I'm always afraid that if I post things like this I'll get the reactions wrong--although I do know someone who suppressed such a memory and didn't remember it until many years later. So I know it's possible. I sort of figure he knew he had the scars, but he made himself forget how he got them. He just knew it was not anything good...yeah ~_~;;
And number three, it sort of feels like a poor man's version of sarahofcroydon's story Here for You. Which you should read if you haven't, because it is AMAZING. Anyway...enough of my babbling ^^;; Thanks for reading, all! Much love!