vaguely_fair (vaguely_fair) wrote in vaguely_lythdan,
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The Song of Silence

Fandom: Ace Attorney

Title: The Song of Silence
Pairing: Klavier/Franziska
Genre: Romance
Word Count: 5769
Rating: PG
Summary: At fifteen years of age, Franziska von Karma has been left behind by her family, and defines herself by her career as Germany's youngest prosecutor. It's a lonely existence - until she meets Klavier Gavin, that is.



Franziska misses Miles Edgeworth, although she would never tell him that. The old manor is lonely without anyone to talk to. Sometimes she walks through the library, fingers trailing lines in the dust that covers the books that no-one ever reads. They’re not like the books that line the walls of her study; thick and heavy with the memory of late-night revision, midnight oil burning brightly. These books are slimmer; their pages are thinner, but that is all Franziska knows. Papa had called these books ‘frivolous flights of fancy’ and thus she has never read them. She wonders why Papa hasn’t thrown them out, but although she’s never asked, she knows they used to belong to her mother.

When she finishes her walk around the room, her gaze often falls on the unused chess board by the window. It hadn’t always been unused, not in the days when there had been someone to play against. She plays alone sometimes, but there is no thrill in capturing her own pawns, no satisfaction in a perfect victory attained against herself.

Her job is a blessing, but also a curse. It’s the only reason she has for leaving home, escaping the suffocating emptiness of the manor, but even at the office there is no-one to talk to. She is fifteen and she understands the looks her colleagues give her. Despite her perfect win record, despite the fact that she has repeatedly proven herself worthy, Franziska knows that if it wasn’t for her father’s influence, she wouldn’t be here.

Sometimes Franziska wonders if Papa understands just how lonely she is—how can he not? Papa knows everything; Franziska consoles herself with the fact that Papa only wants what is best for his daughter; the time alone, she has to admit, is very good for studying—if only because there is nothing else to do.

She is sitting in her office, preparing her work for her next case, when a knock comes at the door and she answers it without thinking—it is usually one of the prosecutors in the office next to hers; he is too incompetent to replace the staples in his stapler when they run out, and instead, he borrows hers.

However, it is not Herr Zimmerman looming in her office’s entrance this morning; instead there is a blonde boy, young and tanned, leaning casually against the doorframe. She would ask him if he were lost if it wasn’t for the case file he held in one of his hands, the other sneaking up to his fringe and pushing it out of his eyes.

Instead, she turns in her chair, picking up her whip from where it has been lying on her desk: the day she had received her whip had been the last time she had seen her father. It had been nearly three years; in that time she had received fortnightly phone calls and monthly letters, nothing more, nothing less. Papa was a man of routine.

“What do you want?” she asks the boy, getting straight to the point as her fingers curl tightly around the whip’s handle. He’s not a prosecutor, that much is for certain—there could only be one Prodigy. His relaxed demeanour, however, makes him appear as though he belongs here more than Franziska does, and the thought is enough to rile her. She has worked her entire life for this job, and it is the only thing she has left now.

The corners of the boy’s mouth tug upwards and he offers the file to Franziska. “Delivery,” he says, and although Franziska’s question had been asked in German, the boy answers in English, his accent reminding hers of Miles’s in her earliest memories.

It’s the file she’s been waiting for; her superior, Prosecutor Gavin, one of the prosecutors who worked upstairs, had told Franziska that she would send it down when ready. She wonders who this boy is and why Frau Gavin didn’t make the delivery in person. “Thank you,” she says, this time in English. It’s been a long time since she’s had anyone to speak it to; the only reason she hasn’t forgotten how, she suspects, is because Papa insists on talking and writing to her only in English.

Then again, it’s been a long time since she’s had anyone to speak to at all, but encouraging conversation is foolish, it would distract her from her case preparation and if Papa found out, he would be disappointed. She stands up to receive the file; when she pulls on it she finds a surprising amount of resistance, as though the boy is refusing to relinquish his grip. But when she tugs again, the energy exerted almost makes her fall backwards onto her desk; maybe she is starting to imagine things, or has the boy’s smile really grown a few centimetres wider? She’s embarrassed now, but she does her best not to show it, holding her whip above her head as she struggles to regain her balance, and waits for the boy to leave.

He doesn’t. Instead, he lingers by the doorway, eyes bright and inquisitive and Franziska wonders why he doesn’t leave already; does he need a hint? He plays with his fringe for a little while, then says, “I’ve heard a lot about you, Franziska von Karma.”

“The Prodigy,” Franziska says in reply, as her name doesn’t sound complete without its last two words. “I’m certain the stories have been most complimentary.” Her fingers are curled around her whip’s handle so tightly now that the skin over her knuckles is taut and white; wordlessly, she dares him to say something to the contrary.

She’s somewhat disappointed when he doesn’t; instead, he leans forward, easy grin sliding into place again. “They certainly have been—fifteen-year-old Franziska von Karma—a prosecutor for nearly three years now, and never lost a trial; just like her Papa.”

“Is that so?” Franziska asks, but somehow, she feels relieved. Even though nothing she has ever done has been less than perfect, she knows that she will never be able to fill her father’s shoes.

“They say you’re perfect—you and your father both.” When Franziska doesn’t reply, the boy’s smile widens and for some reason, Franziska finds the way he bares his teeth at her almost challenging. “Forgive me, Miss von Karma, but I’ve never met a perfect person.”

Well, that’s forgivable, in a way—this boy has clearly never met a von Karma before. What she cannot forgive, however, is the boy’s continued presence in her office, his continued intrusion into her life. Who does he think he is, telling her what she is or isn’t when they’ve barely known each for all of ten minutes?

Her irritation spikes and the whip comes down, swishing through the air. “Who are you?” she demands at the same moment there is the sound of leather hitting skin.

The smile disappears now, and for that, at the very least, Franziska is glad. She wasn’t sure how much more of the boy smiling down at her she can take.

The boy takes a step backwards, but his hands ball into fists, his stance remaining aggressive. “Klavier. Klavier Gavin,” he answers through gritted teeth, and Franziska raises an eyebrow at both parts of his name.

“You? You’re Prosecutor Gavin’s son? I thought he was older, but I suppose I also assumed that Frau Gavin had better taste in names.” She pauses then, wondering how safe it is to rile the boy up more—then she remembers that she is the one holding the whip. “Piano.”

She sees the look in his eyes the moment she says his name in English--being born in America, less people would have picked up on the peculiarity than they did here in Germany. She imagines he gets strange looks from everyone he meets.

Klavier seems to decide to ignore the jibe, and instead, he stands up straighter, trying to puff out his chest and make his shoulders appear broader than they really are. “You’re thinking of my brother, yes?” he asks, his fingers fiddling with his fringe again. “His name is Kristoph.”

The corner of Franziska’s mouth curls upwards, and her fingers curl tightly around her whip’s handle again. “Well, at least your mother didn’t name you both after musical instruments.”

Klavier’s eyes narrow, but he does not say anything straight away. He turns away slightly, and Franziska wonders if he’s getting ready to leave. But then, before he goes, he stops, hands resting lightly on the door frame. For a moment, he struggles to smile. “I’ll tell my mother that you said hello, and that you think I have a silly name. Just keep in mind that soon, Klavier Gavin will be rocking the courthouse as one of the country’s best prosecutors.” He turns fully now, and Franziska is facing his back.

“Stop,” she commands, whipping the floor of her office. The crack is loud and satisfying, and Klavier jumps to attention, turning around on the spot out of surprise more than anything. “You!” she shouts, pointing angrily at the boy. “Klavier Gavin. You intend on being a prosecutor?” she asks, the disdain clear in her voice. “You’d be a fool to even try. Why don’t you go back to school and play your silly little ball games?”

Klavier smiles wider then; it’s much like the smile he first wore when he entered the office. “I graduated high school last month, Miss von Karma,” he said, his hands on his hips.

“Hmph,” Franziska says, arms crossed, unimpressed by the little boy’s posturing. “I’ve been working for the last three years. I am brilliant at everything that I do. I have never lost a case; my win record is nothing but perfect. I have never lost at anything,” she continues, stretching the whip out in front of her, “not even a game of chess.”

The boy seems to mull things over for a moment, then he looks up at her. “I’ve never lost a game of chess either. How about a game, then, Miss Prodigy? Then we’ll see who’s truly the best.”

Franziska laughs. “I have better things to do with my time than play games, little boy.”

“You spend all your time at work? Why, that does sound very boring…or, are you afraid of losing?” He crosses his arms across his chest as well. “I’ve never lost a game either. Why, at home, some call me a genius.” He smiles.

You?” Franziska asks incredulously. “A genius? Don’t make me laugh. You wouldn’t know the first thing about being a prodigy. You would never be able to defeat me!”

Klavier’s answer is simple. “Prove it. We’re prosecutors, and we need only believe in the evidence. Do you disagree, Miss von Karma?”

“Get out of my office.” Franziska cannot stand to talk to this boy any longer. His eyes travel to the fingers of her left hand, clenched tightly around her whip. He seems to consider leaving. Finally, Franziska thinks to herself.

He turns, facing the doorway. “I get it, Miss Prodigy; you don’t want me here. But just wait until I tell everyone that you were too scared to play a game of chess against me.”

Franziska stalls. “You wouldn’t,” she hisses dangerously.

“Why not?” Klavier asks, shrugging. “It’s the truth, yeah?”

Eyes narrowing, Franziska places the whip behind her on the desk. A peace treaty of sorts. She steeples her fingers together, and calls at Klavier to wait. “I accept your challenge, Piano. As you can quite clearly see, I have no chess board here. Thus, come to my house on Sunday afternoon at two o’clock, and you will have a true display of von Karma perfection. Your mother will know how to get to the estate.”

Klavier is still at the door, but then he looks back at her, and smiles once more. “You’re on, Miss Prodigy. This is one game I will not lose.”

***

Sunday is the one day of the week when Franziska allows herself to rest. Unless she has a trial, she doesn’t travel to the offices and instead, she stays at home. It’s meant to be relaxing, a break from the hectic lifestyle of the prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt. However, it is always very boring. It’s on Sunday when Franziska’s sister rings home; she’s a neurologist now, and she tells Franziska about the patients she has treated at work, her sentences constructed entirely of medical jargon that Franziska doesn’t understand. In turn, Franziska tells her sister of the perfect trials she has conducted in the courtroom, and they are two people, having two different conversations.

Franziska hates it.

But this Sunday is different. This Sunday she will have company. At first she had invited Klavier Gavin only so she could prove to him who was really worth the title of prodigy. But now, she finds herself anticipating his arrival, something, anything to interrupt the suffocating silence of the manor, the house that has been all too quiet now ever since her father and little brother had relocated to the States.

She finds herself sitting on one of the armchairs in the library, staring at the chess set that in just under an hour, will be unused no longer. She used to imagine Miles there, sometimes, in her loneliest, most foolish moments, but for now, she envisions the Gavin boy’s smarmy smile, and how his face will crumple when she gets the opportunity to wipe it away.

And even though she is still alone for now, sitting in the library by the dying fire, she doesn’t feel as lonely anymore.

It’s two past two according to the watch that Franziska always wears. He’s late. Or maybe, Franziska thinks to herself, he’s too afraid to face her. Only masochists would dare oppose Franziska von Karma, after all.

She can’t help but find it slightly disappointing when she realises that he’s probably not going to come. She reminds herself that it’s only because she’s always looked to fair competition – not that any competition is fair when she, Franziska von Karma, is involved, but it is fairer than most. The boy seems to think he is some sort of genius.

So why does she feel lonely again? She sits forward on the chair, an arm curled around her stomach as she tries to describe the foreign feeling when the doorbell rings; Franziska’s forgotten how loud it can be, no-one comes to the manor anymore, no-one who doesn’t have a key, anyway. It frightens her, and she feels her heart beat faster in her chest.

She is being a fool. She swallows, stands up, and walks down the hallway briskly, determined to answer the manor’s main door before the servants get there. Of course, she should’ve known if that was a feasible option at all, it meant that Papa’s employees weren’t doing their jobs properly.

Klavier Gavin is standing in her hallway, being glared at by the doorman. Franziska dismisses him, ascertaining that indeed, this raggedy looking boy is a guest of hers. The doorman apologises: Frau von Karma, I was unaware you ever had guests.

The implication hurts more than Franziska would care to admit, but instead, she bites her lip, crossing her arms across her chest as she stares the boy down. She almost wishes she had her whip in her hand, but she doesn’t need it when she’s home. Then again, she’s always alone at home; it’s a place where she’ll always be in control. This is the first time she’s ever let anyone into her own territory.

And it’s frightening.

“Piano,” she says, her voice clipped and sharp, portraying the confidence she often feels, but is often fake, “follow me, and I’ll show you to the chessboard.” There’s a challenge in her word that reminds Klavier Gavin that she has not forgotten why he is here today.

The boy looks as though he’s about to say something in retort, but thinks better of it, and simply follows Franziska.

Franziska would be a fool not to notice the way the boy stares wide-eyed at the ceilings and the von Karma family portraits on the walls, even though he does his best to hide it. He’s unused to the grandeur, she can tell. She tries to wrack her mind, thinks back to what she knows of Frau Gavin’s personal life. There’d been scandal, Franziska was most certain of that, and it was still talked of in hushed tones around the prosecutor’s office. Klavier and his brother had been brought up in America by their father, an aspiring country musician who Frau Gavin often referred to as her ‘biggest embarrassment’.

Franziska finds herself wondering why her sons are in Germany now, but even she knows that it’s not her place to ask.

They’re in the library now, and Klavier is still wordless, running his fingers along the dusty spines of the books on the shelves in the same way Franziska does when she’s alone. Wait - dusty? Franziska makes a mental note to cut a few pay checks.

It’s been a long time since Franziska von Karma has met a boy who appreciates books the way Miles Edgeworth had. Of course, it’s been a long time since Franziska has met any boys at all. The only one she really trusts is her little brother, and he’s not around anymore.

He’s still staring around the room with a vacant expression is his eyes, and Franziska, now feeling irritable and ready to get the game started, lands a hand on his shoulder and shakes him more roughly than she intended. “Here’s the chess board,” she says, gesturing at where it stands, pieces black and white stationed in their proper positions. “I’ll let you choose which colour to play as.” She’s the host, after all, and not offering would be impolite. She almost expects Klavier to play the role of gentleman, to insist that no, ladies first, but instead he settles himself down behind the row of black pieces.

Franziska smiles to herself. Doesn’t Klavier Gavin know that the best defense is a good offense? She doesn’t say anything, however, no insults tumble from her lips. She is determined to make this a fair challenge, just so Klavier Gavin can’t feel, in any way, that he’s won against her. She is Franziska von Karma. She, and only she, is the Prodigy.

She shakes off her glove, landing it in her lap. She offers him her hand; it’s traditional to shake hands before a chess game, after all. Her fingers twitch, she’s not nervous, is she? It’s too late to withdraw the handshake now, especially when Klavier Gavin clasps her hand firmly in his; sweat mingles, and Franziska wonders why it suddenly feels ten degrees warmer in here.

She shrugs it off, places her fingers around her king’s pawn and moves it forward two places. There’s no clock at her chessboard, she and Miles had never had a need for it, and if Klavier Gavin dawdles, Franziska is certain she will be able to figure out a way to encourage him to play faster.

He opens with his queen’s pawn too. Franziska smiles to herself. What do we have here, a copycat? She moves her right knight.

She expects him to move his knight as well; if he continues copying her, defeat will simply be too easy – almost disappointing, actually, as for all the posturing he’d done in her office earlier this week, she’d expected him to be at least passably mediocre. But he doesn’t. His hand hovers over his pieces in indecision, and he takes so long that Franziska almost considers kicking him in the shins just to get him to hurry up a bit.

But it’s then when she notices that his concentration is not on the game in front of him, but rather, at an object behind Franziska. The more Franziska watches him, the more blatantly obvious it seems, until she decides to put him out of his misery and turns around, to find that Klavier Gavin is staring at her very own Klavier - the grand piano that sits in the corner of the library. Franziska is used to simply ignoring it – no-one in her family plays. Miles played her a song or two once, but he’d only taken a year’s worth of lessons, and his fingerings were clumsy. Despite this, Franziska enjoyed the songs Miles had played.

She’d always wanted to know what a piano sounded like.

Papa told her once that her mother used to play, and sometimes Franziska wonders what it’d be like if her mother was still here, if she hadn’t left Papa all those years ago, nothing more than a vague memory in the back of Franziska’s mind. Franziska wonders if she would’ve gotten a chance to do something different with her life.

It’s a dangerous line of thought, and Franziska dispels it immediately. How hard had her father worked for her to place her in her career at such a young age? How hard had she worked for him? She’s Franziska von Karma, the prosecuting prodigy, and she shouldn’t need to be anyone else.

Yet, sometimes, she can’t help but wonder.

Now they’re both staring at the piano, Klavier leans forward in his chair, his face dangerously close to Franziska’s, although she hardly notices. “Do you play?” he asks, and Franziska’s gaze flickers back at him before he nods in the direction of the piano once more.

If only. The thought is there before Franziska can stop it, and instead, she bites her lip. Dismissively, she states, “Papa always said music was a waste of time.” She hopes that with these words, they can get back to their chess game, back to something that Franziska’s good at, something that she’s certain she can do: prove herself better than Klavier Gavin.

She doesn’t expect Klavier to gape at her as though she just claimed that premeditated murder was merely a misdemeanour. Franziska doesn’t get people some of the time, or even most of the time, but even she can tell that she’s insulted him in some manner. She finds herself wanting to backpedal, to say that she loves a certain genre, an artist, a song, but apart from the songs that Miles had played her all those years ago, Franziska von Karma has never listened to music.

She doesn’t apologise, though, in the end. She shouldn’t have to apologise for stating the obvious truth.

The spell is broken when Klavier moves another of his pawns forward. “I was brought up around music,” he informs Franziska, “although I’m more of a guitarist than a pianist. A life without music…is like a life without beauty, yeah?”

Franziska’s facial expression hardens at Klavier Gavin’s words; she’s not liking the implication that somehow, her life is inadequate because she lacks melodies, tones and vibrations. “Thank you, Gitarre, but my life is quite fine.” Her hands tighten far too much around another pawn as the game progresses.

And infuriatingly, Klavier Gavin just smirks at her, as if she’s risen to his bait.

Franziska is pleasantly surprised to discover that unlike Miles Edgeworth, whose tactical strategy left a lot to be desired, Klavier Gavin is almost a match for her. It’s been a long time since she’s lost a queen in a game of chess, but at least this time it was a queen for a queen. Their hands had brushed when Franziska had done the exchange – and she had found herself sweating again. She tries not to think about what it means.

The only thing it can mean is foolery of the highest order, of course.

For the first time, Franziska has found herself a match, and as she does a quick scan of the chessboard, she notices that things are evenly distributed. If she’d been playing against Miles, the game would’ve been long over by now.

It’s close to the end game now, few powerful pieces littering the board and pawns in awkward positions. And Franziska finds herself waiting for Klavier Gavin again, the urge to just kick him rising, when she notices what he’s looking at. Again. This time, the curiousity gets the better of her and she asks the question she’s been thinking since the second move of their match. “Do you play?”

“Not very well,” he answers, a tone of modesty in his voice now, and he plucks at his fringe again, “as I said, I’m more of a guitarist.”

Franziska stands up, weight leaning on the chessboard, almost toppling it over in her determination. “Play me something,” she demands.

Klavier protests. “Miss Prodigy,” he says scoffingly, lounging back in his chair with ease, his gaze focused more on her rather than the piano now, “we’re in the middle of a game.”

She wishes she hadn’t left her whip up in her bedroom now, as it would be so easy to show Klavier Gavin just how much she doesn’t care about this game anymore. Instead, her words will have to do, although she doesn’t stop her hands from balling into fists. “I don’t care.”

A wicked grin spreads across Klavier’s face. “You’ll lose,” he taunts.

Nein,” Franziska responds forcefully in her native tongue, then, horrified at her mistake, she rectifies it, making sure her English is immaculate as always. “It means we just both never lose. A truce, if you will.”

The words do nothing to dispel Klavier’s grin. “You’re afraid you can’t beat me.”

“I’m not,” Franziska replies hotly. “I’m being merciful, Piano. Play me a song, and we can both walk away with our pride intact. Because if we continue, I cannot make any guarantees.” If he’s not a fool, he’ll know that the offer is a good one. After all, neither of them has ever lost before. And neither of them wants this to be their first time.”

“All right, Miss Prodigy,” Klavier answers after mulling everything over for a few moments. He extends his hand towards her. “Draw?”

Franziska redefines. “We both won.”

“Deal.” Klavier clasps his hand around Franziska’s once more, and for some reason, Franziska finds that she doesn’t want to let go. Horrified by the thought, she wrenches herself away from Klavier, who looks at her in astonishment.

Franziska von Karma is not a weak person. She doesn’t need to cling to people’s hands just because they’re the only people who seem to care about her existence. Papa cares, she reminds herself. He’s just an extraordinarily busy man – Franziska reminds herself with pride that he trusts her to take care of her own career.

She’s an independent woman, and she most certainly does not need a man to lead her to the piano. When Klavier walks in its direction, she almost doesn’t follow, until he just stops, almost there, and when he doesn’t beckon or ask or do anything at all to persuade her to join him, she does so, glad that she was allowed to make her own decision.

She hasn’t sat on this stool since she was eight years old, but it’s most definitely large enough to fit two teenagers; Klavier opens the piano’s lid, and removes the red cloth covering the keys. Dust flies into the air, obvious in the afternoon sunlight streaming through the windows of the von Karma estate’s library.

Franziska spends every day in the library.

She’s never seen it look so beautiful before.

Klavier places his hands down on the keys in the central position, the places where Franziska remembers Miles’s hands being almost eight years ago. She wonders what Klavier’s music sounds like, is it clumsier than Miles’s? Or is it more beautiful? Would she even be able to tell the difference?

She almost cannot believe she is indulging in this foolery, and is relieved that her father won’t know what she’s doing in her free time. At least it’s a Sunday, and the thought is somewhat consoling. But the concept of ‘rest’ to a von Karma has always meant more slightly relaxed studying.

She’s been curious for too long now, dissatisfied with her life and her career, dissatisfied with the way that everyone keeps leaving her behind. Sometimes, she does wonder what she’s missing out on. She’s meant to be perfect, she reminds herself, but she’s not. She’s human.

That still doesn’t mean Papa has to know, though.

Klavier is taking an awfully long time to choose a song to play; Franziska doesn’t know where the sheet music is, so she’s assuming he’s going to play her a song from memory, if he can remember one at all, that is.

Minutes pass, and the house is silent still. Klavier’s hands, musician’s hands, Franziska notices, while wondering if there is such a thing, remain poised atop the keys, ready to play, but no sound is made.

And although the estate is silent, the silence isn’t suffocating anymore. They’re sitting together on the stool, more closely now than they had been previously, more closely than Franziska remembers sitting next to anyone before Miles went away, and the silence is almost companionable.

Franziska von Karma, however, is not a person known for her patience, whether inside the courtroom or out, and soon, she founds herself pushing Klavier Gavin’s shoulder, desperate to know if this silence is intentional or not. Klavier’s not expecting the shove, and he topples over, managing to twist his body so his fall is supported by his hands and not his head.

Franziska never knows what to do in such situations but laugh, so she laughs, a smirk widening on her face. And Klavier Gavin…is laughing back.

Franziska von Karma is fifteen years old, and she has never laughed with – rather than at - someone before. They’re sitting on the floor together, laughing, and Franziska is almost about to suggest resetting the long-forgotten chess game when the doorbell rings again. Another visitor at the manor? Franziska can’t imagine who it would possibly be. She almost decides to just let the doorman deal with it, but Klavier stops laughing then and gets to his feet, his face paling by the slightest of shades. Franziska can’t help but notice, and she leads him back to the hallway.

There’s a tall man standing tersely at the entrance to the house, arms crossed over his torso. Despite the fact that he towers over the both of them, the man’s resemblance to Klavier is remarkable. This must be his brother Kristoph. “Hey, bro,” Klavier greets, almost too casually.

Kristoph’s gaze lingers from Franziska to Klavier, and he nudges the glasses he wears up his nose. “Did you enjoy…playing chess?” Kristoph asks, and Franziska wonders why there’s a slight pause there, until her gaze follows the same path as Kristoph’s. Klavier’s hair is mussed and his shirt is untucked, probably from the tumble from the stool.

Franziska’s own clothes are rumpled from laughing on the floor, and she finds herself reddening at the sheer impropriety of it all – she is never doing something so foolishly foolishly foolish again. The ground is to walk upon, not to lay laughing on.

But Kristoph’s gaze doesn’t seem suspicious, and if Franziska wasn’t as experienced, she’d almost wonder if she was imagining things. “I ah, apologise for intruding, Klavier,” Kristoph continues, his attention directed at his little brother, “but Mother needs us. Urgently.”

Klavier smiles at Franziska, his eyes roaming around the entrance hall to the manor again, and Kristoph notices, placing a hand on his younger brother’s shoulder and squeezing, and Franziska is infuriated to see the disdain clouding his features.

She finds that she doesn’t want Klavier to go. As much as he had been an unwelcome presence in her office earlier in the week, she had never felt less alone than she had today since Miles Edgeworth had gone to America. They hadn’t even talked much: they’d just played a game of chess, sat at a piano stool in silence, and laughed on the floor.

It’s the silences she likes the best, she realises. Boys were irritating when they spoke. Klavier Gavin doesn’t say goodbye.

Kristoph leads Klavier away from the house, hand still on his shoulder. And although once the Gavin brothers leave, the house is quiet again, it’s not overwhelming like it had been for the past three years. It’s bearable. She sits at the piano stool, fingers poised over the keys. And even though she doesn’t know how to play, it’s almost as if she’s not so alone anymore.

She knows it’s pathetic. But, she reminds herself once more, Papa never needs to know.

Franziska never sees Klavier Gavin again after that Sunday afternoon. The rest of her Sundays are spent talking unintelligibly with her sister and revising her law books – if she tries hard enough, one day Papa will let her work in America, and she won’t have to sit at the piano alone anymore when things get too lonely. She’ll prove to Papa that she’s the perfect, prodigal daughter, that she’s better than everyone - yes, even Miles Edgeworth.

She finds it easier to study when she pretends she has a friend. Franziska von Karma might be a fool, but she will be perfect.

***
Franziska von Karma is used to people leaving her behind. Her mother left her father when she was barely three years old, leaving Franziska nothing but books Papa forbade her from reading and musical instruments she didn’t know how to play.

Her father left her behind once he’d set up her career, leaving her with nothing but her whip, one of her most prized possessions, an instrument of justice. It represented what she had once been capable of – a prosecutor, relentless in the pursuit of perfection. But, especially after her father’s incarceration, it no longer represented who she wanted to be. Her father was as gone as her mother now.

Miles Edgeworth left her behind when she was thirteen, and she’d chased him. At first it was merely telephone calls which he never replied to, but she’d eventually come to America, to prove her worth to him. But it was too late, and she’d been left behind again. Maybe one day, she could catch up to him and stand with him, side by side, but it was hard, when she didn’t leave her anything to work with.

Franziska von Karma hasn’t seen Klavier Gavin in five years, although she’s seen fliers for his band. She is twenty years old, and when the Sundays are lonely in Germany, she sits alone at the piano in the estate’s library, remembering the song of silence that Klavier Gavin had left behind, just for her.
Tags: character: franziska von karma, character: klavier gavin, character: kristoph gavin, fandom: ace attorney, pairing: klavier/franziska
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