Word Count: 2269
Summary: Apollo learns that the consequences of annoying Franziska von Karma may include getting pinned against a wall - and that's only the first confusing aspect of their entire encounter.
It was a verdict worthy of Franziska von Karma’s return to America. The judge slammed his gavel down with a guilty and Franziska coiled up her whip, finished with today’s onslaught.
She looked across the courtroom and noticed that the defense attorney’s horns were drooping. She smirked to herself, gathering up her notes – she liked it when the defense fought back; it made her feel prouder of her inevitable victory. This case had been challenging; she hadn’t expected it to spill into a second day – she’d doubted Mr. Apollo Justice could last that long.
It was a feat almost reminiscent of Phoenix Wright, but that was unsurprising, considering who Mr. Apollo Justice was working for. Franziska was disappointed to discover that Phoenix Wright had no intention of standing behind the defense’s bench – she would never let such an opportunity slip through her fingers again! – but defeating his protégé was good enough. Almost.
Franziska had planned on just going to the courthouse’s bathroom and then travelling to the prosecutor’s office to sort out some paperwork, when she bumped into someone in the hallway outside the toilets. Her hand immediately dropped to her whip’s handle, and she lashed out at the fool who lacked the common sense required to look where they were going, not pausing to spare them more than a moment’s notice.
The cry of pain sounded familiar.
Franziska paused in her attempt at forcing her way down the corridor and decided to look at the person who had run into her. The horns looked familiar, somehow, but for a moment, she had difficulty placing them…
…ah, Mr. Apollo Justice, of course. She’d almost forgotten about him. “Watch where you’re going!” Franziska called out, lashing out with her whip once more for good measure.
There was a hiss of pain, followed by a flush rising in the defense attorney’s cheeks. There was an indignant look on his face, so Franziska held onto her whip more tightly than ever as she continued her walk down the hallway.
She’d only taken a few steps where there was a shout behind her. “Hey!”
Franziska considered ignoring it, as she was almost at her destination, but instead she turned around; she couldn’t help but wonder why the defense attorney was trying to attract her attention. “What do you want?” she almost snarled, because the man before her seemed to be at a loss for words. Was this really the same attorney who’d she faced down in the courtroom less than an hour before? Was this really the same man who had almost beaten her, Franziska von Karma, the Prodigy?
There was a certain amount of defiance in his stance now, and it amused Franziska as she watched him puff out his chest in an attempt to look taller – it was never going to work. “You should look where you’re going,” he eventually said, his face still red. He seemed to be taking great care not to look Franziska in the eyes.
“I know perfectly well where I am going,” Franziska said, the whip lifted up in front of her chest as she took a step forward, “but I can’t say the same for you.”
Apollo Justice stepped away from Franziska, backing into the wall. “I-” he started, but Franziska cut him off, a smirk forming on her face.
“Do you often walk into people without a care in the world, Mr. Apollo Justice? It’s a bad habit. Foolish, even. Do you often block the corridors like this?” She took another step forward, and her prey had nowhere to hide. “It’s a public place. You don’t own this courthouse.” Another step forward and she stretched out her arms, resting her whip against the wall several inches above the defense attorney’s head. “I thought today’s trial would’ve made that clear enough.”
Apollo swallowed when Franziska closed in on him, any objections he may have had dying in his throat for now. Instead of arguing, he instead snapped, “What do you want?”
Franziska dropped her right arm back to her side, letting the lash of the whip uncoil and trail over Apollo’s shoulder. He flinched when that happened, then looked at Franziska expectantly as though waiting for her to brush it away.
She did no such thing. Instead, a smile formed on her face, far too wide to be sincere. “We’re having a friendly conversation, Mr. Apollo Justice. What did you think?”
“I think you should…” Apollo mumbled before trailing off but Franziska couldn’t tell whether it was due to a sudden bout of common sense, or because of her ferocious glare. Her voice was lower now, more dangerous.
“You think I should what?” Franziska asked, her spare hand drifting upwards, coming to rest around the man’s collarbone. He tried to shirk away, but there was nowhere for him to go.
“I think you should…” the defense attorney repeated, before taking a deep breath and saying louder than was necessary, “I think you should leave.”
Franziska shook her head; the movement was almost gentle, all things considering. “That’s not a conversational volume, Mr. Apollo Justice. If you want to yell like that, go back to the playground. And if you want to leave, then by all means, do so.” Despite the placement of her hand, Franziska knew that if the man ran for it now, she wouldn’t be able to get a hold of him and whip him: most certainly not at this range, anyway.
Surely Apollo Justice knew that as well? After all, the whip’s lash had fallen over his shoulder. It’d take her far too long to coil it back up again, when all was said and done. So why wasn’t he running away? Was he stubborn, or just plain stupid? Who did he think he was, to stand up to Franziska von Karma both inside and outside of the courtroom? He didn’t move, although his posture tensed. He opened his mouth to say something, but snapped it shut when Franziska started to move her hand.
She shifted it slightly over the fabric of Apollo’s vest before pressing a gloved finger to the defense attorney’s badge pinned proudly to the man’s lapel. “You’re not too bad, for a defense attorney.”
There was an elongated pause, Franziska still pressing, before Apollo raised his hand to his shoulder, brushing the whip’s lash away. “Uh, thanks?” he mumbled, the indignant look on his face fading somewhat as it was replaced with confusion.
Franziska’s hand drifted away from the badge, towards the defense attorney’s tie instead. She took hold of it in her hand, taking care not to tug too tightly – she didn’t want to accidentally asphyxiate the poor man. “It was intended as a compliment. Or, rather, as much of a compliment as a defense attorney can ever receive.”
Apollo bristled then, trying to hold his head high; his efforts, however, were complicated by Franziska’s hold on his tie. “Hey-”
Franziska relaxed her grip then, simply keeping one hand on the man’s chest and the other on the wall. She leaned in closer then, not wanting to lose her balance. This would all end up horribly if she tripped over her own two feet and ended up on the floor.
After all, Mr. Apollo Justice had done quite a good job, and on a certain level, Franziska appreciated the challenge (not that she would ever admit to it being challenging), but on the other hand, he’d walked into her without so much as an apology; did he think he owned these hallways or something? It was with a surge of pride and a smirk on her face that Franziska reminded herself that she had still won. Apollo Justice was nothing more than an insignificant defense attorney, mentored by the king of foolish bluffs himself.
It was apparent that he was using Phoenix’s Wright’s old manoeuvres if he’d managed to last that long against her.
“Phoenix Wright taught you well,” Franziska acknowledged, running her fingers up and down Apollo’s tie now, dipping in slightly underneath the vest before returning to top again. “It’s a shame that he’s not returning to the courtroom. I was looking forward to beating him again.”
How quickly Apollo Justice’s face could shift between incredulous to indignant to confused amazed Franziska, but she was starting to see a pattern emerge now. Any attorney knew that body language was an important aspect of courtroom behaviour, but apparently, Apollo Justice didn’t know that. He was so easy to read; too easy, in fact. “You didn’t beat him…” Apollo murmured more to himself than anything as his brow furrowed.
Franziska’s eyes narrowed, and she found herself leaning in even closer. “What did you say?” she asked, her voice carrying a dangerous undercurrent that indicated that an unsatisfactory answer would result in most displeasing consequences.
“I said that you…” Perhaps he caught the look on Franziska’s face, because he cut off the sentence and immediately ended it with, “…never mind.”
Franziska shook her head slowly. “If you have something to say, then you should say it. Isn’t that the point of a conversation?” She slipped her hand off the tie, giving it a gentle tug before resting her hand on his waist.
Apollo Justice shifted uncomfortably for no good reason that Franziska could discern. “Uh.”
“You don’t have anything to say, then? A pity. You almost seemed somewhat eloquent in the courtroom.” She was leaning in even closer now, her breath almost brushing his ear when she moved her hand down to his hip; it was more comfortable that way.
“I…” Apollo trailed off as Franziska moved in closer, her shoulder now nudging his.
“Come on, now, what were you saying?” There was slight curiousity mingled in with the taunt, as if she really was interested in what Apollo Justice had to say. Quite honestly, the only thing she wanted now was an apology, primarily for the flagrant waste of her time, and she would not walk away until she received it.
“Nothing,” Apollo Justice said vehemently, his face flushing. Embarrassed, was he? Franziska didn’t see how there was anything to be embarrassed about.
Franziska sighed. She really did have better things to do with her time, and if Apollo Justice was a fool, she would now be happy to let him be foolishly foolish on his own. “Certain?” she asked, if only to make sure. She trailed her hand up his side, getting ready to leave and go back about her business even if she didn’t get the answer wanted.
“Posi-” Apollo started before Franziska moved her hand back to her vest, fiddling with his top button. He looked somewhat flustered – perhaps it was simply too warm in the courthouse? Then he moved his own hands to his tie, knocking Franziska’s out of the way in the process. He loosened the knot slightly as Franziska scowled at him, resting her hand firmly on his lower stomach.
“I see that this was a complete waste of my time,” Franziska said sharply. This simply wasn’t interesting anymore; Apollo Justice was doing nothing but sputtering incomplete word fragments at her – he’d lost the passion she’d glimpsed in the courtroom. She leaned on him with the hand against his stomach as she removed her hand from the wall, doing her best to curl up the whip’s lash without falling over.
“Sorry,” Apollo Justice muttered, and although Franziska knew that he wasn’t apologising for the entire incident, she could not hide the smirk forming on her face.
“You should be,” she said, giving him one last push before standing upright once more, brushing her bangs off her forehead as she moved her hand to the side of his face, cupping it gently. “You need to look before you walk around corners, Apollo Justice,” she warned him before walking away, one hand already in her handbag scrabbling around for her make-up as she set off for the bathroom, per her original plan.
She left a very confused Apollo Justice in her wake.
It was only after Franziska von Karma had walked away and hadn’t turned around to unleash her whip on him once more did Apollo slink away from the wall, wondering what the hell had just happened. He shifted on the spot once more, and after making sure that no-one was looking, he readjusted his pants so that it was somewhat comfortable to walk before going off to the bathroom himself.
The entire thing had left him so flustered that he’d almost forgotten that he would be eating dinner with the Wrights early that evening, and thus, he turned up twenty minutes late. While Trucy merely admonished him, Mr. Wright gave him a casual look-over, in fact, it was so casual that for a moment, Apollo wondered if the man was even looking at him. “You’re late,” he said, and Apollo immediately felt the need to apologise.
“I had a run in with Prosecutor von Karma,” Apollo said as he took his seat at the table.
“Oh,” Mr Wright said, not really looking at Apollo now, “you too?”
“I – what?” Apollo asked, surprised. Surely Mr. Wright couldn’t be referring to…did Franziska von Karma usually do that to her opponents when they lost? Then again, Phoenix Wright hadn’t ever lost to Franziska von Karma…he felt his face flush again and didn’t say anything until Trucy procured an egg out of nowhere and rested it against his cheek.
“Trucy, that’s not how you fry eggs,” Mr. Wright said, but Apollo was grateful for the distraction from having to think of Franziska von Karma.
It really wasn’t something he wanted to think about again.