Apollo Justice had faced plenty of embarrassment in his life. After years of lost bets, failed bluffs in court, and unfortunate nicknames from German-accented prosecutors, Apollo felt like there was very little that would surprise him at this point.
But Apollo never thought he'd be on the floor of the Wright Anything Agency, trapped in one of Trucy's magic contraptions, with the aforementioned magician and her father too busy on vacation to answer their phones.
The miserable attorney was stuck in a small box, his head, arms and legs all poking out of large holes drilled into the front. All the other sides were closed, making for a perfect cube-shaped prison. He had no idea what trick this thing was even for, but, worse yet, he had no idea how to get out - he'd spent the last twenty minutes grasping about the outside and inside of the box, but he found nothing that could grant his escape.
In a way, the short man was glad that his boss and friend were unavailable - he could do without the poorly-hidden, long-distance laughter. But that just meant he was gonna have to rely on someone who was far less likely to provide actual help.
Eventually, Apollo knew he was gonna have to swallow his pride and just get this over with. Sighing to himself, he reached his arm out and grabbed his phone, which he had placed in front of him after several calls to his boss failed to be answered. He went straight into his speed dial.
"Hey, Athena? Yeah, I'm gonna need some help."
"....How did this even happen?"
Athena was leaning down to look at the mess Apollo'd gotten himself in, her hands leaning on her hips. Apollo could tell she was working very hard to keep her expression as serious as possible.
"This is hilarious!" Widget's robotic voice crowed.
Athena blushed and clasped her hands over Widget, but the damage was already done.
"To be honest, I'm not really sure how I even got here." Apollo sighed, ignoring the small robot's taunts. "The last thing I remember clearly was being in the apartment with Masa. I kinda remember walking past a few buildings, but the next thing I know...I wound up here."
Athena's face scrunched slightly in thought, as though she realized something.
He didn't like where this was going.
"...You got drunk with the cat, didn't you?"
Apollo began to sputter indignantly. "O-of course I didn't! I-I never drink that much!"
"I don't know..." She clearly wasn't buying it. "We have the week off, so nobody would've noticed, and...how else would you have lost your memories and wound up here, like...this?"
The trapped attorney looked down at his legs sheepishly. Truth be told, he really wasn't sure whether or not he'd been drinking - he didn't remember doing so, but, he had to admit, no other explanation really made sense. He decided to just push it aside for now.
"Look, it doesn't matter how I got here - we just gotta get me out. Can you think of anything? Did Trucy ever show this thing to you?"
Athena looked down at the box, hard in thought. "No..." she began, "I don't remember seeing this...but, I'm sure I can figure it out!" With a determined grin on her face, she began pacing around the box, poking and prodding it in what Apollo guessed were completely random places. After about ten minutes of this, no progress had been made.
"Alright, maybe we should just...OW! Careful!...Maybe we should just call somebody."
Apollo was humiliated at the idea of having to call the fire department over something like this, but, thankfully, Athena interpreted his words a little differently.
"That's a great idea! Hold on - I know just the person who can get you outta there!"
"So, do you think you can get him outta there?"
"Hmm...nope." Ema admitted, placing her hands on her hips with dejection. "Doesn't look like it has a latch or a keyhole or anything, so...seems like he's as good as stuck."
"B-but, you're into science!" Athena sputtered, beginning to panic slightly on Apollo's behalf. "Surely you can think of something!"
"I'm a forensic investigator, not an engineer." Ema snarked. "And besides...this is more magic than science, isn't it?"
Ema was smiling slightly at herself, clearly content with her joke, but Apollo wasn't in the mood to laugh. He could barely even feel embarrassed anymore, the hot shame of Ema's giggle fit when she entered turning into agitation. His back was starting to hurt, he was starving, and he was beginning to get a headache from the stress - at least, he hoped that was the case, rather than it being a lingering symptom of a hangover he barely remembered.
All of a sudden, Ema's face lit up like a Christmas tree. "Hold on one second," she started, "I'm gonna make a quick phone call." She snatched her phone and began to walk into one of the side rooms, but, based on her giddy expression, Apollo suspected this call had more to do with increasing his misery than it did with helping him.
All of a sudden, it hit him: he knew exactly who she intended to call.
"If you're calling who I think you're calling, so help me GOD-"
Ema was, in fact, calling who Apollo thought she was calling. When she returned from the side room, she refused to reveal who she'd been speaking with, but Apollo knew well enough. After another ten minutes of painful and unsuccessful plans, the unlocked door opened to reveal the last person Apollo wanted to see right now.
"I heard Herr Forehead was trapped in a magic box?"
Apollo's eyes shot straight to the floor. He thought he'd been blushing bad before, but now he could feel his face and neck practically sizzling with embarrassment.
This was it. This was the worst day of Apollo's life.
He was now trapped in a small box for the entertainment of a sarcastic forensics investigator, a coworker who wore a brutally honest robot for jewelry, and the one man who somehow managed to always make him hot under the collar.
However, now was no time to dwell on the crush he tried so hard to deny. He decided to bite the bullet and look up, his 'horns' practically drooping with shame as he met the eyes of the man looming over him.
At the very least, Klavier was trying to hide his laughter, his amusement only showing through his delighted blue gaze and an involuntary side-smile. He bit his lip slightly to suppress the urge to laugh, and Apollo felt like he was gonna melt into the floor. To the lawyer's relief, the tanned prosecutor turned to Athena, still barely keeping back a massive grin.
"So, how exactly did this happen?"
"Oh, Apollo got drunk with his cat."
"I DID NOT!!"
Apollo didn't know how this day could get any worse. It was bad enough being trapped in a magician's device on your own, but having two of your friends and your crush poking and prodding you like a toy while barely suppressing their amusement was downright miserable. At one point, Athena walked off to the corner with her phone, leaving the other two spectators to continue watching Apollo, who was sulking over his new role as the office zoo animal. Everyone quickly turned towards Athena, however, when she let out a surprised squeal.
"Trucy! Thank goodness!" she crowed happily, walking back to the others while she spoke. She sat beside Apollo on the ground and quickly began explaining everything: "So, you know that one box of yours with the five holes in it? The green one with all the stars on it? Yeah, that's the one. Listen, Apollo's stuck it in and we can't get him out. No, he doesn't know how, but we think he got drunk or something. Do you know how to get him out? Really? That's it? Alright, hold on."
Athena lowered the phone and looked up at Klavier. "Trucy says that if you push really hard on the top, it'll slide out so you can just stick your hand in. Apparently if you push him, he'll just roll right out. You're supposed to use it with another part for the whole trick, but that's still at the Penrose Theater, so you'll have to push him instead."
"She did not say that." Apollo croaked dryly.
"Yes, I did!" Trucy squawked, loud enough for Apollo to hear. "I made sure someone could stick their hand in, in case something like this happened - never thought it actually would, though."
Laughing slightly, Athena thanked Trucy and hung up the phone. She then stood up and nodded to Klavier, who began to bend down.
Apollo started to sweat nervously. He was still certain this was all a joke - Trucy was setting him up, Athena probably knew that and picked Klavier for the job just to embarrass him further. Maybe this was all just a bad dream, and soon he'd wake up in his own bed, free of this oppressive box and of the blush-inducing eyes of the beautiful prosecutor.
Klavier slid open the top of the box. He placed his large, smooth hand on the small of Apollo's back, and the smaller of the two could practically feel his soul leaving his body. He barely even noticed it when the prosecutor gave him a light shove, causing him to tumble forward out of the box in a full somersault. His back slammed against the couch, giving him an upside-down view of his former prison and the three people who'd freed him. He could only imagine how ridiculous he must look, and the roaring laughter from his friends seemed to confirm his suspicions. For the first time that day, Apollo started to laugh with them, and was nearly crying by the time he finished. He rolled over and pushed himself off the ground, Klavier clasping his shoulder once he stood.
"It's been a rough day." Klavier began. "How about dinner - my treat?"
For the hundredth time that day, Apollo felt his face turn as red as his vest. Was Klavier actually asking him on a -
"Awesome!" Athena laughed. "Let's go to Eldoon's!"
As the other two nodded and voiced their agreement, Apollo couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed. He now realized that Klavier had been speaking to the whole room - how could he think he was asking him on a date?
The girls exited the room first, eager for their free meal. Klavier walked more slowly, turning back to Apollo before he followed the ladies into the hallway.
"By the way, Herr Forehead...you look pretty cute when you get all flustered."
And that's the story of how Apollo tripped and smashed Trucy's box.