Yet he still could not forgive himself, not yet. Sure he’d abandoned Clay’s coat now, the physical item he had been wearing to give himself ‘strength’. And of course he had thrown away his bandages, no longer needing to block his ability.
Still, going with Athena and Mr Wright for celebratory noodles seemed rather in ill taste considering everything that had happened in this particular trial. Then there was the fact that Edgeworth and Blackquill were tagging along. Apollo didn’t really feel like he belonged. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth had known Mr Wright for a long time and he now knew that Athena had known Blackquill since she was young. So where exactly did he fit into all this? He was not a baby sitter for Trucy, much as he wanted to make sure that she was alright after the hostage ordeal, and besides which she would probably spend the time talking to Pearl.
Despite these reservations he had found himself tagging along to Eldoon’s. After all it would have been rather bad form for him not to do so after he and Athena had teamed up against Mr Wright about him paying. He managed a slight smile to himself at that. It was almost enough to make him forget that he’d probably be drinking water for the rest of the evening to get rid of the taste of salt.
As they left the courthouse, Apollo was sure he caught a flash of long blonde hair and a purple motorbike out of the corner of his eye, but he paid it no heed.
A pang of guilt wracked his body at that thought and he resumed prodding at his noodles. He’d missed Trucy’s last magic show because it was whilst he had his leave of absence and was focussed on one and only one thing: Finding Clay’s killer even if that person had turned out to be Athena.
In fact the last time he had gone to something recreational was when they had agreed to go to the rescheduled concert at Themis Academy and see Ms Woods sing. He frowned as he recalled the victim of that case and also what he thought he had seen on their leaving the courthouse.
Putting his chopsticks down, Apollo glanced hesitantly back up at the rest of the group. He waited for a gap in the conversation. “Uh… Mr Edgeworth, sir?”
“Yes, Justice? What is it? If it is about the trial…”
Apollo winced. “N-no… though I guess I owe you an apology as well…”
“Justice, we were able to ascertain the truth beyond any doubt with your help. That is all that matters. Now, what was it you wanted to ask me?”
“Uh… well… It’s about Prosecutor Gavin… did he have a case today?”
“No. Prosecutor Gavin is currently on leave.”
Apollo’s frown deepened. Had he imagined the other’s motorbike as they had left the courthouse? “Oh. Okay, never mind. As long as he’s alright…”
“I am sure Prosecutor Gavin can look after himself.”
Gripping his wrist at the severe pain that jolted through it at that comment, Apollo half wished he hadn’t taken his eye bandage off.
“E-excuse me. There’s something I need to go do,” Apollo muttered as he stood quickly up. He left the noodle stand before anyone could say anything back to him.
As he was heading to his bicycle, he overheard Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth stating, “You know, this time of day is perfect for walking a dog without getting disturbed…”
Apollo knew a hint when he saw one. Getting on his bike he pedalled towards People Park.
Ever since the courtroom bombing, Klavier had been following Apollo’s cases closely. The other didn’t seem to want any help and he got the impression that the other for once really needed the space.
A flash of two images came up in his mind as he thought back and he suppressed a shudder.
Whilst he had been using his time off to check up on his courtroom rival, he had never anticipated ever seeing similarities between Apollo and his brother.
It had originally been his intention to talk to Apollo after the trial, see how the other was doing after losing his best friend in such a terrible and tragic way, but because of what had happened during the trial he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Deep down he knew logically Apollo was nothing like Kristoph, but there was a betraying voice in his head pointing out that he hadn’t believed that Kristoph could be capable of such acts until Herr Wright had shown everyone just how manipulative he had become during the jurist trial.
His thoughts were interrupted by Vongole barking and dropping a stick into his lap.
Smiling sadly, Klavier bent down and petted his dog. “Good girl…” He muttered, forcing a chuckle. He swallowed as he recalled the day he had gone to fetch Vongole. It had taken a lot of paperwork to transfer her licence over from Kristoph to himself but even if his brother wanted nothing more to do with him, he couldn’t just abandon a dog into care. He rubbed his hand a little, recalling how sharp Vongole’s teeth had been and sighed. A perfect dog with hidden thorns, much like her previous owner. Klavier had since taught her better manners and knew it had never been her behaviour at fault but Kristoph’s own ideals of what a dog should be taught.
Shakily he got a piece of paper out of his pocket and stared at again, wondering what he was doing with his life. It was a review of the Gavinner’s performance at Themis Academy. Sure it had been written by Myriam Scuttlebutt and as such was more focussed on the Academy rumours and Fraulien Woods, but it was a reminder of the last time he had been on stage. He’d let Fraulien Woods sing a song that he had previously said he’d never perform again live because it seemed to fit what he was feeling at the time.
He shook his head. No, that time was over. The other members of the Gavinners all had their legal careers as did he, and besides which it would never be quite the same without Daryan, even if he didn’t miss their musical differences.
He’d already made the decision to concentrate on his prosecutor career but deep down he did still miss performing. That evening had been… nice. He could hardly call it fantastic or even great when it was the week his mentor had been killed but for that time on stage he could forget everything wrong with the world for a few minutes, and the smile on Herr Forehead’s face in the crowd had not gone unnoticed by him.
Klavier sighed. That smile had probably been for Fraulien Woods’ sake, unless Apollo was even more oblivious about romance than he gave him credit for.
And yet Apollo had been quick to deny to him that he and Athena were any more than work colleagues when he had teased them. Was he right about Apollo’s orientation after all? And did it really matter now? They hadn’t spoken since then. He doubted Apollo even knew he had been to visit him in hospital. A head wound does affect the memory after all.
“… You do know your dog wants you to throw that stick again right?”
Klavier looked sharply up as he heard a familiar voice lined with the snark he had missed more than he could put into words. “Ach! Herr Forehead! Es tu mi lied I didn’t hear you approach. I thought you’d be out celebrating, ja? At least I take it Herr Wright still hasn’t been defeated since regaining his badge?”
“I was, but salty noodles aren’t really something to write home about.”
A chuckle escaped Klavier’s lips. As it did so he realised he felt ten times better than he had done in the past few weeks just from a minute in the other’s company. “Ja, I guess that’s true. So what brings you here, Herr Forehead? Have you been stalking me?”
“… That’s not funny Prosecutor Gavin. Though I could accuse you of the same thing.”
“…” Klavier swallowed hard and looked down, fiddling with his hair in unease. “…You got me Herr Forehead. I’ve been watching your trials.”
“Why didn’t you say hi? What was with all the secrecy? And if you’re on leave why on earth are you spending your time at the courthouse?”
“… The courtroom bombing,” Klavier muttered in way of explanation. Glancing back up he was surprised to see the other had sat down beside him. However he was less surprised to see a look of extreme confusion on Apollo’s face.
“I would have thought that would be a reason to avoid the courthouse, Prosecutor Gavin. No point putting yourself in danger.”
Klavier rolled his eyes and chuckled. “It didn’t stop you from going.”
“… Yeah well, I had a case about my best friend’s murder to solve remember? Plus making sure Ms Woods didn’t get convicted of being the person behind the bombing. I’ve been led to believe you are on leave.”
Swallowing hard, Klavier leant back on the bench and glanced up at the sky, his hair hiding the look in his eyes from Apollo. “I’ve been to all the Agency’s trials after the bombing to make sure you were okay, Herr Forehead. You don’t remember do you?”
“Remember what? Prosecutor Gavin you’ve already made it clear you didn’t make your presence known so how could I forget something I ever knew?”
Ah, there was that irritation again. Klavier wondered just why it was so easy to wind the other up. However the confirmation that the other really did not remember saddened him somewhat. Hesitantly he looked back at the other, his deep blue eyes glistening in the moonlight. “I visited you in the hospital…”
“W-what? When? Wouldn’t the other’s have said?”
Klavier sighed. “I don’t think the others know but even if they did you were awake at the time, ja?”
“… Wait. When was this?”
At any other time, Apollo putting his finger to his forehead in thought Klavier would have found endearing but now it just made him worry that the other may not be as well as he was letting on. Hesitantly he placed a hand on top of Apollo’s on the bench. “After Ted Tonate knocked you out, Apollo…”
Using his actual name seemed to have the desired effect as Klavier noticed the look in the other’s eyes change completely. However as soon as it had arrived it was gone again and the other sharply looked away, moving their hands apart.
Klavier swallowed hard. Had the other remembered what he had said at the hospital and this was his way of rejecting him. “… Herr Forehead?”
“… I’m sorry…”
Okay, that wasn’t entirely what Klavier had expected the other to say but it still made sense. “Should I leave? If what I said at the hospital is…”
“I don’t remember that, Prosecutor Gavin. Not fully anyway. You coming there and watching my trials means you were really worried about me huh?”
“Yeah… so why are you apologising?”
Klavier took a sharp intake of breath as the other looked back up and there were tears present in Apollo’s usual vibrant brown eyes.
“I’m not an idiot, Prosecutor Gavin.”
“You could have fooled me,” Klavier teased, but shut up at the sharp look he got from Apollo at that comment. Something told him now was not the time to mess around. “…Apollo?”
“You were at the trial today and still didn’t come over to me even though everything was finally resolved. You saw it didn’t you.. the…”
Klavier’s mind suddenly caught up and he grabbed hold of Apollo’s hands. “Ja, I saw. But you aren’t him.”
“… Aren’t I? I didn’t think he was him and yet…”
“Yet he was. Look, Apollo, if you were him you would have continued to twist everything around even after knowing the truth… you were pushed into the position you were by grief. I know how that feels.” It wasn’t until Klavier said this that he realised that he really did understand, that he didn’t blame the other for falling back onto Kristoph’s techniques as a coping mechanism. His own coping mechanism tended to be taking a step back.
“… You do?”
Klavier bit his lip and looked at the other, his own eyes now glistening with unshed tears. “Ja. Herr Edgeworth originally offered to let me prosecute the Themis Case. I refused because I didn’t want emotions getting in the way like they had against Daryan… and by that point the police had already arrested Fraulien Woods and nothing seemed to add up. I wanted to be involved in the trial but I thought being the prosecution would actually hinder me doing so. So I helped you and Fraulien Cykes.”
“… I thought that was because you fancied her.”
Hearing Apollo’s voice enter deadpan territory, Klavier broke into a smile. “Ach, nein. I’m gay, Herr Forehead.”
“… You are?”
“Haven’t you noticed? Are you really that oblivious to flirting?” Klavier was genuinely intrigued now.
“Prosecutor Gavin, you flirt with everyone.”
Klavier shook his head. “Everyone?”
“… Well… there’s Ema… and Athena… and countless other females… and myself… though no doubt you were just teasing…”
“Ach, do you really think so little of me?” Klavier asked, feeling wounded. However he also felt guilty that he hadn’t made his intentions clearer sooner, but back when he was still a rockstar he’d been hesitant to enter a same-sex relationship due to the attention the press would likely give it.
Seeing Apollo was clearly confused, Klavier lifted the other’s hand up to his mouth and kissed it softly. “Think about your list again, Herr Forehead. Notice something?”
Different looks crossed across Apollo’s face before he finally replied with, “I’m the only male I know you flirt with?”
“Ja. And why do you suppose that is, Herr Forehead?”
“To annoy me?”
Klavier winced. However before he could say anything he saw the other smirk. “… Apollo?”
“But you just told me your orientation. It’s more likely it’s Ema you flirt with if you want to annoy someone. Plus you came to see me in the hospital despite being on leave which I can only guess is because you are still grieving about Professor Courte… Prosecutor Gavin…. Klavier… are you…”
“In love with you? Ja. I have been since the first day I met you. But I had an image to maintain and I was the man to get your boss disbarred, even if it had been orchestrated by my arscloch of a bruder…”
“… Let’s just say I’m willing to give a relationship a go… would you do something for me?”
Klavier frowned, a little concerned to the other’s tone. “That depends what it is…”
“Get back into music. I may not like your usual style but I could see the way your posture changed during that performance at Themis. You force an image all of the time but it isn’t always genuine.”
Looking at the other with shock, Klavier shakily brushed his hair back and tried not to lose control of his breathing. Apollo could really see throw his performance that well? “… The band is dead, Herr Forehead. There’s no changing that.”
“Then start a solo career or do a few more reunion gigs on occasion. I don’t care what you do, Klavier, just get back into it. You may be an insufferable fop but that is better than whatever this is. Hiding from your friends, walking a dog that used to belong to Kristoph, in a park that is probably closing soon. Talking of which, I am not getting locked in here with you. Our relationship won’t last a day if we do.”
Before he realised what was happening, Klavier found himself smiling the most genuine and warm smile he had ever smiled at Apollo, and nodding in agreement to everything the other had said. However it was then he noticed that the other’s eyes were still clouded with tears. “Apollo.”
“You need to move on as well. No doubt as you were at a celebration earlier Herr Wright and Fraulien Cykes have already welcomed you back with open arms and do not blame you for your behaviour. Plus, your work is done. You found Herr Terran’s killer and at the same time unmasked a spy that has been causing trouble for years in the process.”
“THAT WON’T BRING HIM BACK THOUGH WILL IT?!”
Klavier tried not to flinch at how loud Apollo’s voice suddenly was, or how lined with grief it sounded.
Hesitantly he pulled the other into a tight hug and rested his head on Apollo’s shoulder. “Nein, it won’t, Schatzi. But it’s something, ja? Today could have gone so much worse.”
Feeling Apollo nod against his jacket, Klavier rubbed his back as tears fell down both their faces.
Realising how broken the other still was, Klavier came to a decision and stood up. He would take Apollo’s advice and try to get back into music. If he was honest with himself that was what he had needed - a push from somebody that it was the right thing to do - though he wasn’t sure it coming from anyone other than Apollo would have worked.
However the reason he was motivated to do it now was there was something he wanted to do for Apollo. It wasn’t much but he hoped it would at least be the start of moving on for the other.
He offered Apollo his hand as the other looked up. “Come on, you were right. The park’s due to close within the next half hour. I’ll walk you back to your bike.”
Soon they were standing by the gate to People Park. Unable to resist, Klavier leant forward in that flirtatious manner of his. “This remind you of anything, Herr Forehead?”
Klavier blinked. He hadn't expected the other’s voice to be so fond. “Apollo?”
“How could I forget where we first met? You’ve been nothing but a pain ever since.”
“Ach.. you don’t mean that…”
The next thing Klavier knew, Apollo had balanced himself on his bike and planted a kiss to his cheek.
“Goodnight, Klavier. I hope next time we meet we’re both in a better place.”
Klavier watched, lost for words for once, as the other cycled away before he had a chance to say anything in return.
Chuckling to himself he called to Vongole and tugged on her lead gently to get her out of the bush she was investigating before walking towards where he had parked his motorbike.
It was time he got home.
After all, he had a song to write.
“That can wait. Or let Daddy do it for once.”
Apollo blinked. Trucy wasn’t insisting he be her assistant? This must be important. After the year he had had he resigned himself to this being something bad. “Okay, who’s been arrested this time? Or killed?”
“No Polly don’t be silly! Klavier’s on TV promoting his new single!”
“… So?” Apollo asked. He was glad the other had taken his advice and got back into the swing of things but he really was not in the mood to listening to any stupid rock music right now.
“So, I promised him I’d make sure you heard it!”
Apollo blinked. So that’s what Klavier had been whispering to Trucy about at the new year’s eve party? Well as he had pushed Klavier back into his musical career he guessed he at least owed it to the other to give it a chance, if only so he could moan about how loud it was to his ears next time he saw the rockstar prosecutor.
Resigning himself to a few minutes of damaging his eardrums, Apollo sat down on the sofa next to an incredibly excited Trucy. His eyes turned to the screen as it flickered into life.
“So, Klavier, after a few years away from the music scene, what enticed you to return?”
“Well… it was bound to happen eventually, ja? And why not give my fans what they want sooner rather than later?”
“What your fans want? Klavier, this is your first solo outing. I suspect many would rather this have been a return of the Gavinners…”
“If they still think that after hearing my new single then perhaps they should take their complaints to Daryan Crescened.”
Apollo winced. The way Klavier said it came across as joking and polite to the interviewer, but he knew it was still a sore point with the other. He hoped he hadn’t done the wrong thing by getting the other to do this.
“Okay, but your new single is a completely different style to -“
“It is, ja. But anything in my old style would be compared to the Gavinners, nein? Besides… this was written with someone in mind.”
“Oh? Has one of the most eligible bachelors in music finally found a sweetheart? Whose the lucky gal?”
Klavier glanced at the camera as he flashed a dazzling smile followed by a hearty chuckle. “That’s for me to know and everyone else to find out.”
Apollo sunk back in the sofa and pushed a cushion between himself and Trucy, hoping the other hadn’t seen the heat that was now rising into his cheeks. It was still early days but he had promised the other to at least give them a go… although now that the other was implying that this song had been written with him in mind he was beginning to have second thoughts about that.
That was until he heard it.
“Very well. Thank you. Everyone, please welcome Klavier Gavin singing his new single, ‘The stars will always be with you.’”
The title already gave Apollo an indication of what was going on. Suddenly his throat felt extremely dry. Then as the haunting melody started, he buried his head in one of the cushions, trying to stop tears from falling. Clay…
Klavier was using an acoustic guitar and the melody had a ghostly feel to it but it was also full of hope.
‘Drifting down, fading away. Light into darkness, what more is there to say?
I had a friend, a friend with a dream.
But that dream was not all it seemed.
The rocket prepared, the mission confirmed.
Anticipation growing - after all Space is where real stars are born.
Follow your heart, follow your dreams
Sometimes things go wrong but that’s life you see
If there’s one thing of which you can be sure
No matter who you are
Always remember the simple words of this tune:
No matter where you are
The stars will always be with you.’
Apollo was no longer even attempting to hide from Trucy that he was crying. However this time it wasn’t completely out of grief, it was also out of love.
He couldn’t believe Klavier had done this.
Shakily he reached for his battered and tired phone, and typed out a quick text message. It was only two words long but it was the most important text he had ever sent.
The text was sent to Klavier Gavin, and it said simply the following…
“Thank you. x.”