It was a warm, breezy morning in the early spring of Los Angeles. The sun shone bright in the sky, enveloping the city in it's soft glow. Birds could be heard singing their sweet serenades from atop their lush green perches. The trees and flowers bloomed, displaying their delicate foliage for all to see. By all accounts it was a perfect day; except for one Ms. Ema Skye. Although she was in the park working a case, her favorite thing to do, she felt miserable. Her perky little nose was stuffy, violent sneezes wracked her body, her chocolate eyes watered, and she had a terrible pounding in her head.
'Man, my allergies are really killing me today. Yuck...'
The young forensic scientist, feeling slightly dizzy, shuffled over to a bench located in the shade of a tall oak tree. She seated herself slowly, and pulled out yet another tissue with which to relieve the pressure in her sinuses. A white bottle, emblazoned with the face of a cute, little, crime-stopping badger, was pulled out of her brown shoulder bag. Ema took a quick swig of the water inside. As she lowered her face, and the bottle, a familiar red suit came into view on the horizon. She straightened herself out as best she could, hoping that the perceptive young man approaching her wouldn't notice just how out of sorts she was.
"Hey, Ema. How's it going?"
"I'm *achoo* okay. Allergies are acting up, but otherwise okay. Just taking a short break."
"Sounds good. Mind filling me in on what happened here? I'm representing the defendant."
"Sure. The murder happened over there."
Ema pointed to a set of large green bushes a short distance from where she was seated. The thick white rope used to outline the body was laying next to the bushes, sprawled out in the same manner the victim had been when the police found them this morning. There were specks of blood in a seemingly random pattern scattered across the bushes and the ground below and something long and silver glinted in the sunlight from beside the outline of the body.
'Hmm. I wonder...'
"Hey, Ground Control to Major Apollo, come in Apollo." Ema waved her hand in the attorney's face, attempting to get his attention.
"Whoops, sorry Ema." Apollo rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"Here, let's head over and take a closer look."
The brunette rose from the bench, but she went too fast and started to feel dizzy again. As she tried to catch her balance, she doubled over, falling into Apollo, who caught her expertly in his arms. He helped Ema get steady on her feet before easing her back onto the bench.
"Whoa. Take it easy there! Hey, you doing okay?"
"Yeah, I think."
"Ema, I don't think this is allergies. We really should get you to a doctor and get checked out."
"I'm starting to think so too. I honestly feel like garbage..."
"Alright, let's take it slow. We'll get you in a cab and to the clinic. It's not too far from here."
Ema gathered her belongings, throwing her water bottle and the pink glasses from her forehead into her bag. She settled it across her body, and reached her hands out to Apollo. He took her pale, delicate hands in his strong, tan ones and pulled her up gently, supporting most of her weight. Once Ema was standing steady, Apollo wrapped an arm around her. She in turn slung her arm around his neck. Moving at a snail's pace, the duo made their way to the entrance of the park.
"What about your bike, Apollo?"
"I'll come back for it later, I'm sure it'll be okay."
"If you say so..."
Apollo pulled his cellphone out of one of the pockets of his crimson pants. He punched in the number of a local cab company and waited for an answer.
"Hello. Yes, I'd like to request a cab for myself and a friend. We're at the southern entrance of People Park on Lacey Boulevard. My name is Apollo Justice. Okay. Thank you." He placed his phone back in his pocket and turned to Ema."The cab should be here in about ten minutes."
The two waited for several minutes under the steadily warming sun. The heat was beginning to become unbearable for Ema. Her white lab coat and green vest now seemed like they had been a mistake, as they weighed on her languid form like a ton of rocks. The intense heat of the sunlight, combined with the young woman's steadily climbing fever, caused beads of sweat to form across her pale skin, like the fresh morning dew on the petals of a rose. At this point, she couldn't stand it any longer and asked Apollo to help peel the lab coat off of her.
"Sure. Here, bend your arm."
Tan hands clutched a portion of the sleeve and gently guided it down Ema's bent arm. Apollo did the same with Ema's opposite sleeve, freeing her from the confines of the fabric with a graceful ease.
"Ah, much better..."
Just as Apollo finished helping Ema remove her lab coat, the two spotted a bright banana colored car. It had a white sign with black text on the roof that read TAXI, fluorescent pink pompoms hanging from the rear-view mirror, and a checkerboard pattern running down the sides. Apollo and Ema shared a bemused look before returning their attention to the cab. Inside was an older gentleman, appearing to be in his late sixties. He rolled down the slightly tinted window on the driver's side door and spoke in a grizzled tone.
"Hey, you Apollo Justice?"
"Yes sir. That'd be me."
"Alright, hop in the back."
The attorney opened the back door and helped ease Ema into the seat, making sure to guard the forensic scientist from knocking against the frame of the door by placing his hand at the crown of her head. Once Ema was securely and safely in the back seat, and the door had been pulled shut, Apollo swung around to the other side and plopped himself in the seat next to her and closing the door.
"Where to kid?"
"Meraktis Clinic, please."
The pair in the back seat glanced around the vehicle, taking stock of the owner's unusual choices in decoration. The seats were clad in crisp white leather, and the panels were clad in beige. The carpet was clean, black, and slightly fuzzy. On the shelf behind them, Ema and Apollo spotted what appeared to be a menagerie of souveniers, undoubtedly from the cabby's travels around the world. There was a small gold figure of a Japanese beckoning cat adorned in ruby red accents and sitting on a small red and gold pillow, there was also a skeleton, dressed to the nines in a traditional black tuxedo accented in bold and bright colors and clutching a small guitar, presumably from Mexico. Next to the skeleton stood a small boy, clutching a walking stick and dressed in black boots, brown shorts, a denim blue jacket with a hat sitting back on his head. He had rosy cheeks and his mouth was opened as if singing or talking. This little guy was possibly a souvenier from a trip to Germany. the final statue that caught their eyes was of the Egyptian god Anubis. It was an onyx, muscular figure of a man, with the head of a dog. Resting on its head was a bronze traditional headdress typically worn by pharaohs of the time, and around its waist was an equally metallic skirt-like piece of cloth. Around the figures knees were bronze plates and it held a spear in its crossed arms.
As the two inspected the cab, the driver looked in the rear-view mirror and caught a glimpse of his passengers amazed looks.
"As you can see, I've been to a lot of places. Those are just some of the many knick-knacks I've brought back." the man let out a hearty laugh as he rounded the corner.
As the cab closed in on its destination, Ema began to feel her condition worsen. She hadn't eaten breakfast, as she had been feeling queasy when she woke up in the morning.
When they arrived at their destination, Apollo paid the fair, tipping the cab driver, and opened his door and slid out of the car. He then, being a gentleman, jogged to the other side of the car to open the door for Ema and help her out. She was a little wobbly, and Apollo had to help her steady herself. Once he got the detective steady, the carefully shuffled into the clinic, Apollo guiding a dizzy Ema to her destination.
As the duo entered the clinic, they were greeted with the cheerful grin of the elderly woman seated behind the reception desk.
"Welcome to the Meraktis Clinic. How may I assist you today?" The receptionist asked looking at Ema. "Oh you poor dear, you don't look well at all... Please take a seat right over there. The doctor is currently finishing up with a patient, and will be with you shortly."
Apollo eased Ema into the seat. He spied a vending machine out of the corner of his eye when they walked in, so Apollo excused himself to see what was in it. The attorney hoped that there would be something light like crackers that Ema would be able to eat to help settle her queasiness. Approaching the giant blue box, Apollo scanned the mediocre selection of junk, and spotted a small pack of saltine crackers towards the bottom. Pulling out the required $1.25 in change from right pocket, he slotted the coins one at a time, letting them clink at the bottom of the machine before inserting the next. He pressed the little square buttons, and the keeper of the crackers relinquished a packet in exchange. Apollo walked back over to where Ema was seated and offered her the little wrapped crackers, which she weakly grasped and opened, popping a cracker into her mouth.
"Thanks, Apollo." she mumbled through her chewing.
"No problem. Hopefully that'll help settle your stomach and give you a little boost of energy."
While Ema slowly ate the crackers, Apollo took a moment to let his boss know where he was. He pulled out his phone, tapped out a quick text, and replaced the device in his pocket. After an excruciatingly long fifteen minutes, the doctor in question emerged from the exam room with the patient he was treating previously. He wore a serious expression that was accentuated by his dark eyes and slight frown, had salt and pepper hair, indicating he was middle aged, and stood several inches higher than Apollo. Upon turning over his patient to the care of his receptionist, the doctor turned to the pair in the chairs.
"Ms. Skye, please follow me to the exam room."
Ema and Apollo got up from their seats, Ema leaning on Apollo once more for support, and followed the man to the exam room. The door revealed a pristine white room, with a metal exam table bearing a teal cushion towards the rear of the room. There was a counter off to the right which held a sink and several jars of cotton balls, tongue depressors, and other medical tools. On the left was a pair of chairs similar to the ones found in the lobby. The were made of a dark stained wood, with terribly tacky 1990's-esque floral cushions for seats.
"Please have a seat on the table. Sir, please sit in one of the two chairs over there."
Apollo took up a seat on one of the garish chairs near the door, which was directly across from the examination table. Ema steadied herself on the cold metal table, a shiver running down her spine. She couldn't tell if it was simply the metal table, or her illness that gave her the chill. The doctor traced his hands along Ema's neck, checking her glans for any signs of swelling. His cool touch soothed her feverish skin. The doctor then proceeded to pluck a tongue depressor out of one of the jars on the counter, and pulled a light from his pocket.
"Please open your mouth and say 'aaaah'".
Ema complied, and a sick sounding growl crept up her vocal cords and out of her mouth. The doctor pressed the wooden depressor against her tongue and examined the back of her throat. He hummed to himself as he continued examining Ema, and eventually, he came to his conclusion.
"You seem to have contracted a slight cold. I am writing you a prescription that I want you to take three times a day for the next seven days. You should notice a difference once you have a day or two's worth of medicine in your system."
"Thank you doctor. I appreciate it."
"You're welcome. Just head up front to the receptionist, and you can set up a follow up appointment for next week."
Ema and Apollo rose from their seats and made their way down the hall to the reception area.
"Hi. The doctor wanted me to set up an appointment for next week to check in."
"Alright, let me get you squared away."
The receptionist began typing away on her keyboard, nails clicking against the plastic keys.
"It looks like we have a couple of openings in the morning on Wednesday. What time works for you?"
"Is ten o'clock open?"
"Yes it is. We'll see you then. Take care dear."
With her appointment set, Apollo helped Ema out to the sidewalk to hail a cab home. Once they arrived at the detective's modest apartment, Apollo helped her up the stairs and in the door.
"Hey, Ema, do you want me to fix you some soup before I go?"
"Sure, that would be great, thanks."
As Apollo set to work in the kitchen, Ema staggered over to the couch. She plopped herself in the seat and leaned back against the soft, fluffy pillows. A sigh escaped her lips as she finally began to relax. The day had been long, and she was exhausted. As the detective settled in to the couch, she realized just how terrible she felt. Her body felt like it was carrying the weight of the world on it. Her eyelids began to droop just as Apollo was returning from her cramped kitchen, piping hot bowl of liquid gold in his hands. Ema's eyes slowly opened at the sound of the attorney's voice.
"Here, Em. I hope this helps."
"I have to get going now. Mr. Wright and Trucy are most likely wondering why I haven't returned yet... I'll check in on you tomorrow to see how your feeling, okay?"
"Yeah, sounds good. Thanks for everything, Apollo."
"Don't mention it."
With that, the young, red-clad man turned to the door and exited the apartment. Ema began blowing on the soup in an attempt to not scald herself with it when she gulped it down. As every sip of the steaming liquid poured down her throat, the heat soothed her. When she finally finished the soup, Ema attempted to slowly rise from the couch, taking care not to make any sudden movements, for fear that she would further add to her ever-present nausea. The young woman cautiously shuffled into the kitchen, and placed the bowl in the sink.
'I'll just clean this up in the morning... I don't have the energy right now...'
Ema turned and exited the kitchen, walking past the living room and into the bedroom. Minty green walls surrounded the simple desk and bed, and a light gray carpet covered the floor. She kicked off her shoes and peeled off her socks. Her brown pants, olive vest and white button-down shirt were exchanged with a set of heather gray pajamas. The detective climbed on the bed and slid under the pastel sheets. Mere minutes passed before Ema drifted off to dreamland, finally resting after the struggle of getting through the day.
Over the course of a week, thanks to the medicine and some well deserved days off, Ema slowly regained her health. The rosy color returned to her cheeks, her fever finally broke, her strength returned, and the nauseous feeling faded. She recovered just in time to testify at the trial for the crime that occurred a week prior. The detective made her way to the courthouse, prepared to give a complete rundown of the scene of the crime.
As Ema made her way to the stand, she noticed Apollo out of the corner of her eye. His face bore a vampire-esque pallor, and his nose ran like a river, the young attorney constantly reaching for tissues to wipe away the mucous. He looked like death warmed over, and Ema couldn't help but feel a sense of guilt, as though she was the cause of poor Apollo's plight. During Ema's testimony Apollo was truly struggling; constantly sneezing in between questions, watery eyes making perceiving extremely difficult, and fighting back an upset stomach. After Ema's testimony, there were two more witnesses heard, and Apollo looked like he would collapse any minute. After the trial adjourned for the day, Ema found Apollo sitting outside the courthouse. His bike was nowhere to be found, and he had his cellphone out, so she assumed that he had ordered a cab.
"Hiya, Sneezey! How're you feeling?"
"Like crap." *Achoo!*
"I'm guessing this is my fault, huh?"
"Nah, this must've been coming on for a while..."
"Want me to help you get home?"
"Um, that'd be nice, actually, thanks."
The cab approached the courthouse, and Apollo and Ema piled in, destination, Apollo's apartment.
"Let's see if we can't get you fixed up."
And that's just what Ema did.