could i be more obvious
The Wright Anything Agency is the last place anyone would expect prodigy prosecutor and famed rockstar Klavier Gavin to be spending his Friday evening, but alas, that’s where he finds himself—seated on a cheap, lumpy couch as his rival pores over a document for the thirtieth time that night next to him.
“I don’t get it,” his dear Herr Forehead says, pressing his index finger to his forehead. “How is it that no one heard a gunshot in that huge apartment building? It doesn’t add up.”
“Herr Forehead, you know I’m not opposed to rocking all night long—” Klavier stops to admire Apollo’s satisfyingly disgusted face. “—but I think we’ve hit a wall. Perhaps a good night’s sleep will provide some much needed inspiration, ja?”
Apollo considers him a moment before he sighs and drops the files down on the coffee table in front of them.
“Think you might be right,” he says, leaning back on the couch, releasing some of the tension in his visibly wound-up shoulders.
“I usually am,” Klavier says, leaning back as well. Apollo doesn’t take the bait, instead opting to close his eyes and let his head hang over the top of the couch, giving Klavier a perfect view of the line of his neck, the muscles that move with every swallow, and the curvature of his Adam’s apple. There’s a strong, startling impulse in Klavier to kiss the spot right next to his pulse point, but he restrains himself. Like he always does.
It’s become old hat now, the burgeoning attraction he feels towards his own rival: a man who’s demolished him in court multiple times, the attorney responsible for putting a dear friend and even dearer brother in prison for murder. Klavier is a masochist of the acutest kind it seems, but the heart wants what it wants, ja?
Still, it’s gotten out of hand lately. These urges to hold and kiss Apollo have been growing in their frequency to the point where it’s physically painful to be alone together. It’s not just a physical attraction thing either. Apollo Justice, strange as it may seem, is the total package: Smart, passionate, brave, and kind, but with a pair of arms that rolled-up sleeves were made for. Klavier theorizes he’s been a goner since the first time they met in People Park. He started flirting with Apollo so immediately and unconsciously, it was like he was possessed.
“I know my client isn’t guilty. I know it, but—” Apollo says, his eyes squeezed tight in thought.
“You need decisive evidence,” Klavier finishes.
“I need decisive evidence,” Apollo echoes.
Klavier places a hand on Apollo’s knee—something he decidedly should not do—and gives it a little shake. “Tomorrow. Work on it tomorrow.”
“I know,” Apollo whines, his head lolling to one side. “This case is killing me.”
Klavier knows it is. That’s why he came to help. He’s not strictly supposed to, but Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth has been rather lenient lately about defense/prosecution investigation cooperation. He’s pretty sure Herr Wright’s triumphant return to the profession has something to do with that, but who can say?
Plus, Klavier and Apollo have a system. Whenever they’re not working opposite each other and they’re confident they’re on the side of truth, they help each other out. They’re a great team, actually. Apollo is good with details and, because of that strange power of his, good with sussing out fallacies while Klavier is better with the big picture and finding motives.
There’s a kind of electricity between them when they have these little sessions, both of them building on the other’s theories, a kind of chemistry you can’t fake. Which is why when Apollo asked for help this afternoon over the phone, Klavier agreed without so much as a thought.
He’s sure Apollo thinks Klavier helps because he’s so dedicated to the truth, but that’s only half the story. The other half is that he’s eager to spend as much time alone with Apollo as he can, despite how much that emphatically does not help with his little crush.
And even the word “crush” is starting to feel dismissive to the truth of it, but…
Klavier looks at Apollo again, who is still indulging in resting his eyes while Klavier indulges in the sight of him like this. The light in the Wright Anything Agency is low with one lonely lamp in the corner and the streetlamps outside casting a warm glow through the slatted blinds. It makes everything feel a bit fuzzy, a bit outside of time, and it makes Apollo look soft and warm, a place Klavier wants to curl into.
Klavier curses himself. This pathetic pining—pining like he’s some love-struck teenager who thinks life and love end in high school—it’s a disgrace. He’s Klavier Gavin, for god’s sake. When has he ever had trouble procuring the affection of someone he wanted? Never, that’s when. When did he become such a coward in the face of love?
When it mattered, a voice in the back of his head whispers. When the thought of rejection started to feel like it could kill you.
He shoos the voice away, irritated with himself. He’s been wanting something more with Herr Forehead for, what? Six months now? And he’s done nothing. Well, not nothing. He’s flirted, and pretty shamelessly too, but Apollo just thinks he’s teasing, which, okay, he kind of is, but also, he really isn’t.
“Klavier?” Apollo says, voice gravelly with exhaustion. His name riding on Apollo’s voice sends a little spark of electricity up Klavier’s spine. Apollo doesn’t use his first name often, usually only to say something important, and every time he does, it’s like the word has a special ring to it, like Apollo’s found a new way to arrange the notes to make it something new. And more than that, Klavier loves Apollo’s voice. The others tease him for his Chords of Steel, but whatever those exercises include, it’s working. Apollo’s voice is full-bodied and well supported. He actually breathes, which is something most people do a lot less of than you’d expect. Klavier’s years of vocal training have taught him as much, so he can see it in others when they let their ribs expand, when they let themselves take up space, when they stop hiding. His old voice coach used to have a saying: you can’t hide if you’re breathing.
It’s probably another reason why he’s in so deep with Apollo—he’s all daylight, but no shadows. He never pretends he’s anyone but who he is and he never squirrels away deep, dark secrets like they’re acorns in the fall. Not that he doesn’t have his darkness, of course, but he doesn’t cast that darkness onto others.
“Ja?” Klavier says, surprised by the low timbre of his own voice.
Apollo rolls his head the other way to meet Klavier’s eyes, then after a beat, straightens up. “Thank you. I mean it. You don’t have to do this but it really helps and I always feel...better after we’ve worked on something together.”
It’s so mundane. Just a simple, genuine thank you, but it’s what makes Klavier finally snap. He will make this man his. He’ll ask him and he’ll do it tonight.
Klavier smiles, doing his best to hide the battle of fear and joy stirring within him. “Why, of course, Herr Forehead. We are past the point of such gratitude, are we not? Your help is indispensable to me as well.”
“We’ll never be past the point of gratitude,” Apollo says, but there’s a quirk on one side of his mouth, like he’s holding back his own smile.
Klavier snaps his fingers. “Then feel free to lavish me with your thanks.”
It makes Apollo laugh, a pleasant sound in his upbeat tenor, before he picks up a file once again. “That was easy.”
Klavier hums and builds a plan in his mind. How should he ask? Confess dramatically? Keep it simple and casual? He doesn’t want to scare Apollo off. He seems the type to malfunction from overheating as soon as someone so much as tells him he’s cute.
Right. Okay. Casual it is. Nice and easy like reaching out to hold someone’s hand.
Apollo’s still looking at the file (though, they had decided two minutes ago that they were done for the night) as Klavier psyches himself up: do it, just do it. Just ask him.
Casual, he reminds himself, then leans back on the couch, puts his hands in his pockets, and stretches his long legs out to have them cross at the ankles. There, casual.
Klavier licks his lips and takes a breath. “Herr Forehead, I was thinking…”
Apollo hums in acknowledgment.
And ah, here it comes. No more stalling. “When this case is over, we should get dinner. Together.”
Apollo doesn’t miss a beat, still studying the case file. “Oh, sure.”
“Yeah, sounds fun. Athena and Trucy have been wanting to try that fusion place on Vine, anyway. Mr. Wright should be back from Europe by then too,” Apollo says.
Klavier’s heart sinks like a stone. Perhaps his attempt was a little too casual. Still, he thought the “together” part was pretty clear, but he’s dealing with Herr Forehead here so he should have expected as much. But he’s gotten this far, so he might as well go all the way.
Klavier reaches out, placing a gentle hand on Apollo’s right wrist, encouraging him to lower the file and look at him. Apollo does, then tilts his head, his big brown eyes full of concern, saying, what’s wrong?
A lump forms in Klavier’s throat and it takes considerable effort to swallow it down. “Nein, Herr Forehead. I meant just the two of us.”
“The two of us?” Apollo says, his forehead scrunching in confusion, and Klavier can see the impulse to press his index finger to his brow.
Klavier sighs. Of course, this couldn’t be easy.
“I apologize,” Klavier says. “I’m usually not this...coy with my affections, but if you need me to tell you plainly—yes, the two of us. A date, Apollo.”
He hopes the tremble in his voice was only obvious to him, but at least he said it. Not even Herr Forehead could misinterpret his meaning anymore.
Apollo’s face goes as red as his dress suit and his eyes as wide as his forehead before he takes his hand back and fiddles with the papers in front of him.
“Y-you shouldn’t joke about something like that,” Apollo says, straightening the papers in a neat pile and banging them against the coffee table. “It’s not nice.”
He might as well have dropped an anvil on Klavier’s heart. Could he really be that dense? Does Apollo really think so low of him that he’d assume he’d joke about such a thing? The more he thinks about it, the angrier he gets. He flirts for fun, sure, but he would never—and especially when he’s been torturing himself over Apollo—
He makes a snap decision and grabs Apollo’s wrist again, though not quite so gently this time.
“Wha—” Apollo starts, but Klavier puts his hand over the pulse point on his own neck so Apollo can feel it. Klavier holds his hand there to keep it still and pierces Apollo with his gaze.
“We’re both lawyers. We like evidence, ja? Well, tell me, does this feel like I’m joking?” Klavier says. He reaches for Apollo’s other wrist, the one with the bracelet, and takes that one too. “When I say you’ve bewitched me, does your bracelet tighten, I wonder?”
Apollo told Klavier about his handy magical lie detector months ago, but he never expected they’d use it for this. But desperate times, no?
The movement makes Apollo drop his neat little stack of files, but he’s finally looking at Klavier, so that’s something. Apollo’s face is still cherry red as he looks from Klavier’s neck to his own wrist and Klavier can see the cogs finally working behind that huge, precious forehead.
And he looks terrified out of his mind. He leans back, not completely, but enough that his hand slips off of Klavier’s neck and it’s cold without his touch there.
Apollo’s eyes are focused at a spot above his knee, like he’s trying to figure how Fraulein Trucy accomplished an impressive vanishing act, but really, this shouldn’t be that hard. Especially if he reciprocated.
Klavier winces around a deep, painful twinge in the center of his chest. “Do you not feel the same? Or perhaps you...only for Frauleins…?”
The words drag out of him like a serrated edge pulling out of soft flesh. He had hoped, never assumed, that Apollo cared for him in the same way but—
“I-I never said that!”
The world stops again and for a moment, it’s just still as they stare at one another—Klavier, who he’s sure must look like a deer in the headlights, and Apollo, who looks like his head might burst from all the blood rushing to it.
Klavier swallows, acutely aware of the feeling of his Adam’s apple fluctuating up and down. He presses Apollo, though, needing answers. “Then, what is it?”
Apollo shakes his head, defeated. “You can’t like me.”
Again, Klavier feels that rare combative side of him rise in him like a dragon. “I think we’ve established that I very much can. That I do.”
“Just look at you,” Apollo says, gesturing to Klavier like what he’s saying is so obvious he shouldn’t even have to.
And this time, Klavier’s cogs finally start turning and—ah, of course. Herr Forehead is even stupider than he looks if these are his reservations. So, it’s all been about, what? Some completely baseless belief that Klavier is somehow out of his league? And, well okay, he kind of gets where the whole rockstar thing could be a little intimidating, but still. Apollo is handsome and intelligent and full of passion. He’s the kind of person who helps others without a single thought for himself, who only wants to put good into the world, who cares for his loved ones so deeply that he can forget to take care of himself. He works harder than any person Klavier’s ever met and he never, ever backs down when he believes his client is innocent. Who wouldn’t fall in love with someone like that?
And there’s that senseless anger again. That white-hot frustration that Klavier is wholly unused to and especially unused to being directed at Herr Forehead. How could Apollo think so little of himself?
That’s when Klavier makes the decision to do something about it. To crush Apollo’s self-doubt between his fingers.
He grabs Apollo’s vest on either side, the fabric bunched tightly between both palms, and tugs Apollo toward him, stopping just before the tips of their noses touch. His eyes flick down to Apollo's lips in silent question. Apollo lets out a shuddering breath in response, one Klavier can feel on his chin, and tilts his head ever so slightly in invitation. Klavier takes it without a thought and crushes their lips together. Apollo sighs, his lips pliant and reactive. He’s tentative at first but when Klavier moves his lips, Apollo moves too. Slow, but wanting.
And Klavier tries to put his all into it, to show Apollo he means it. He moves a hand to Apollo’s cheek and lowers him down against the couch’s armrest, giving Klavier an advantageous angle to straddle him. And finally, finally, Apollo puts his hands on him, grabbing at Klavier’s hips and even venturing a thumb to rub along the pronounced bone there.
It makes a small sound come out of Klavier’s throat, which is, frankly, embarrassing. Klavier is the one who’s supposed to pull noises out of his lovers, but he’s a bit too dizzy from the scent of Apollo’s cheap (but tasteful) cologne to care too much.
Klavier lets his own hands wander a bit, sliding downward to feel the surprisingly hard expanse of Apollo’s chest and stomach before he lets himself sneak a palm under his shirt and rest it on his bare abs. And, oh, Herr Forehead works out.
It’s cliche to comment on how it makes Klavier feel, but it’s all the hits—fireworks, butterflies, sparks, you name it—all making a very dangerous tornado within him. He’s not exactly sure he’ll ever be able to do anything else again when kissing Apollo Justice is an option on the table.
They slow down enough for Klavier to feel how warm his own face is and it makes him curious to see what just-kissed Apollo looks like, so he pulls away.
It’s certainly a sight. Apollo’s eyes are soft and lidded, his cheeks still a pleasant shade of pink, and his lips red and wet. All it makes Klavier want to do is kiss him again.
Not one to deny himself what he wants, Klavier kisses him again, but this time it’s a wet press to his jaw, then to that lovely length of his neck he was admiring earlier in the evening. Apollo, for as loud as he is usually, makes the quietest little sounds of pleasure at the touch—nothing but hitched breaths and small sighs that’d be easy to miss if Klavier wasn’t listening so intently.
“Do you still doubt me,” Klavier says between kisses, “Herr Forehead?”
Klavier feels Apollo breathe in deep. “I—no. No. And I um, I should say, I like you too. A lot.”
Klavier snaps his head up and feels a full grin transform his face. “Is that so?”
“D-don’t get a big head about it,” Apollo says, unbearably flustered.
“Well we simply don’t have room for two big foreheads between us, now do we?” Klavier says. Apollo gives him an affronted glare and Klavier responds with a quick kiss to the corner of his mouth that makes Herr Forehead tomato red. Klavier is so besotted it’s concerning. “Does that mean yes to dinner?”
“Only if I get to choose the restaurant,” Apollo says, his face so deadpan and serious that Klavier can’t help but laugh.
“You drive a hard bargain, Herr Forehead,” Klavier says and, to his surprise, is dragged into another kiss by the Forehead himself, this one much more confident than the last as Apollo’s fingers rake through Klavier’s long hair. Klavier melts like butter in a hot pan.
When they separate again, Apollo’s eyes, shining and bright, look at the mess of papers on the floor.
“We should clean that up,” Apollo says.
“Mm, we should,” Klavier says, but rather than cleaning anything, he focuses his attentions on Apollo’s kiss-neglected neck instead.
“M-maybe later,” Apollo squeaks out, gripping Klavier’s shoulders.
And if later turned out to be the beginning of sunrise, well, Klavier wasn’t going to say anything.