The Sleep of the Just
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What if Kristoph had an explanation for his behavior? This is a redemption story. Ace Attorney ensemble. 2 years after GS4. Phoenix/Miles, Apollo/Klavier, Kristoph G through NC-17
Chapter 1, Pride and Joy
Title: The Sleep of the Just
Fandom: Ace Attorney
Characters and Pairings: Miles Edgeworth/Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice/Klavier Gavin, Kristoph Gavin, supporting ensemble cast.
Rating: G through NC-17 (this chapter PG-13)
Warnings for this chapter: brief and interrupted foreplay, angst, confusion, guilt, dread.
When the telephone rang, they were still only loosely entangled, their lower limbs intertwined as they faced each other in the dark; all soft lips and tentative, ardent hands and needlessly coy whispers. Touching like it was their first time… like they didn’t know exactly what a caress here, or light a scrape of teeth there, would do. The pageant of innocence and discovery was one of their favorites, usually designated for very late nights, like this one.
“You gonna get that?” It was the land line ringing, as opposed to one of their cells so it could have been for either of them.
“It’s 3 AM, Phoenix…” Their foreheads were still pressed together, lips brushing when they spoke.
“Were you trying to sleep?”
“You know very well that I wasn’t…”
“It might be Franziska… What time is it over there?” Phoenix rolled up onto one elbow, leaving Miles’ protesting lips behind to frown over his shoulder at the ringing phone on the opposite night stand.
The phone emitted its seventh trill and Phoenix lunged for it across Miles’ body, chuckling at his companion’s thrashing and muffled protests as he thumbed the TALK button.
As Phoenix listened, his relaxed sprawl began to stiffen and Miles stopped struggling. Phoenix backed off of him and sat on the edge of their bed, knuckles turning white on the receiver as he continued to silently take in whatever was being said.
When Miles slid upright and touched his shoulder Phoenix jumped, turning towards him with a haunted look that Miles all too easily recognized and his stomach turned cold with sudden dread… Horrors from the past , like vengeful ghosts… something was coming back for them… wasn’t it…?
A few moments later Phoenix was speaking briskly and firmly to the person on the telephone, his voice portraying a calm that his eyes did not reflect, advising them that he was on his way, and that he would be there as soon as he could.
Miles slipped out of bed and into his bathrobe as Phoenix hung up, silently awaiting an explanation and when a long moment passed and the other man had made no motion, other than to slowly set the cordless receiver down amidst the folds of their duvet, Miles cautiously approached him.
“What is it, Phoenix? What’s happened?” When he placed his hand upon the man’s shoulder once more, Phoenix was trembling slightly.
“…You’re not gonna believe this, Miles…”
-72 hours earlier-
“A mass…? What does this mean?” Klavier sat nervously on the edge of an uncomfortable chair in the office of the Director of Health and Medical Services at the state prison. Apollo had come with him but was not allowed past the visitor’s lobby and Klavier was suddenly feeling his absence very acutely, hands flexing fitfully on the arms of the chair.
“It means that the tumor is benign. Indeed it might even be something else entirely… an arterial clot… scar tissue from a ruptured aneurism… etcetera… It’s not invasive to the surrounding tissue. It is not cancerous. It’s just there.” Klavier nodded dumbly as the physician continued. “This is not to say it isn’t a threat to your brother’s well being… It’s badly located. From our scans, we can clearly see the pressure it is exerting on his brain…” The man turned to indicate some color images from Kristoph’s MRI. “As you can see… the mass is not affecting these parts of the brain, which are responsible for involuntary systems like heartbeat, respiration, and so on… but it is interfering somewhat with the senses… His need of vision correction is a direct result of its effects and there is an indication that he cannot distinguish a difference between the colors red and blue… he’s anosmic, er.. he has no sense of smell…” The doctor clarified at Klavier’s bewildered expression, “and also, key parts of his personality are very possibly being affected… We’d need to do more tests to determine just how much but his sociopathic behavior is almost certainly tied to its placement in his brain. It’s not unprecedented, you realize… this kind of ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘personality disorder’… for lack of any better terminology… being caused by neurological damage of some kind.” As the man finished speaking, Klavier shuddered, the cellphone he’d been fidgeting with falling from his numb fingers.
“Mein Gott…” Klavier’s voice was no louder than a breath.
“It gets worse, Mr. Gavin, and I’m sorry for that… but there is also some good news at the end of this.” The man looked genuinely sympathetic as Klavier raised his head in mute agony and gestured for him to continue. “Our preliminary tests have indicated that the mass has been in his brain for… quite a long time… since his late teens or very early twenties… and was only just now detected because of the… incident… and his subsequent hospitalization…
The man carried on talking but Klavier couldn’t hear him anymore, the roar of blood in his ears and the constriction in his chest… the large areas of blindness swimming in his vision were just too distracting… and the memories; smothering him in bright sunlight and the smell of fresh cut grass and animals-
“//Kris, look at me! Pay attention brother, I am about to dazzle you!//”
Pride-and-Joy was that horse’s name, wasn’t it? The offspring of an American racing champion; a gift from Father to Mother…
“//Klavier slow down, there is no reason to show off for me…//”
‘P.J.’, designated as training mount that day; not impressed with his rider’s inexperience; nickering irritably and rattling his bridle.
“//But Brother! Walking is so BORING! I want to gallop!//”
Pouting still; leading P.J. through a walking obstacle course; weaving around barrels and clomping sedately over small wooden bridges; his brother holding onto a lead rope and walking alongside.
“This is only your second lesson Klavier, and what did I tell you about using English? You must practice every day.”
Groaning in annoyance; rolling his eyes.
“Arghh... English... It does not make any sense, bruder... eh-. I mean bro- ther…”
Kris laughing; brushing his bangs out of his face; a whistle sounding from somewhere down range.
“Get down, now Klavier, the riding lesson is over and I must return to studying…”
Acting on impulse- no… he’d been thinking it the whole time… that’s premeditation right…?
“No!! Klavier!!! Sto-“
“…But… it’s operable…” Those words hauled Klavier back from the brink and he choked, bringing a trembling hand up to cover his eyes and intercept the stinging flow of tears as the doctor hurriedly continued. “With the robotic micro laser surgery technology we now possess, we might not even need to shave his head… Just… in through the eye socket… and a quick one- two…” The white coated man chuckled nervously, making a couple pantomimed sword strikes, obviously attempting to put Klavier more at ease but all the color had drained out of the prosecutor’s face and his shaking hands moved to clutch one another between his knees.
“T- take it out… Take it out of him…” Klavier could barely speak, gasping for breath like he’d just come up for air from a great depth. “I don’t care about the cost. I want it done by the best surgeon there is.” His pallor didn’t improve but his voice was returning. Klavier fought against his spinning mind. He needed to focus and get things started… Afterwards, he could think it all through… when he was with Apollo again… Oh Gott… He needed to collect himself… Oh Gott, it had been his fault… Klavier struggled to his feet, reeling. No… it had been an accident! He hadn’t meant to injure his brother…
Klavier’s numb, jelly-like knees failed him on the first step and he crumpled to the tile floor, his last conscious thoughts, images of his brother's slack face; of the blood matting his angel-fine blond locks and pooling in the dust around his head; Pride-and-Joy’s frightened neighing and his own screams of panic filling his ears.
“So… he’s been conscious then?” Miles ran a hand through his still slightly disheveled hair, bemoaning the slight growth of stubble on his face silently as they exited the car. The private recovery ward they had arrived at was a not a secure facility so the presence of police officers and prison staff was at odds with the serene pools, rolling lawns and manicured privet hedges.
“Apparently, for about 20 hours now… on and off but he’s been largely disoriented and unresponsive… He was already in pretty bad shape from that attack a few days ago… That was the reason they did an MRI in the first place… and found it…”
“Yes, I see… and Apollo requested that you bring- uh- the…” He trailed off, cocking an eyebrow meaningfully at the dark haired man and receiving a nod as he straightened the other’s tie for him and Phoenix smoothed his collar in exchange; both doing their best to look more composed and professional and less like they had been roused from their bed in the middle of the night.
“It’s a foolproof way to be sure, Miles… I’m certain he never found out about the Magatama before… so he won’t be expecting it this time either… If he’s faking we’ll know right away and he won’t have a clue how…but if it turns out that it’s not a trick, well… I don’t even know what that will mean. Miles… If what Apollo said is correct… it could change everything…” They shared a moment of silent understanding and squeezed each other’s fingers briefly before turning towards the building and ascending the steps, together but no longer hand in hand.
Apollo was there to greet them, just inside the front door. He was looking more tired and rumpled than either of them had ever seen him, his gelled crest of hair falling into his eyes, vest unbuttoned and tie askew but he was just as intense and alert as always, cordially shaking hands with each of them in turn and thanking them for coming so quickly.
Businesslike and professional, despite the fact that they saw and worked with each other nearly every day, the shorter attorney ushered them past two uniformed officers and into a quiet anteroom. “Mr. Wright, Mr. Edgeworth, I’m sorry I had to disturb you in the middle of the night but… I didn’t think you would want to be kept out of the loop on this… any longer than you already have.” Miles frowned at that and Apollo blushed, trying to smooth his hair back from his forehead. “I didn’t mean to wait so long but… we had no idea that this would happen… Klavier- he… He just wanted to get the surgery done as quickly as possible… I- he… Something was really bothering him, even before this ‘amnesia’ situation, but he won’t tell me what it is… He just keeps saying that it’s all his fault…” Apollo trailed off miserably.
“We’ll figure it out Apollo, don’t worry… Have… you spoken with Kristoph yet?” Phoenix stepped forward, reaching out a hand to squeeze the younger attorney’s hunched shoulder.
“N-no… He was asleep for quite a while after the surgery… and then when he woke up I was at the office with you… Klavier told me what happened though… About the amnesia… about how he tried to explain to Kristoph what had happened but, well… I mean, fifteen years of his life, suddenly gone- like it never happened… not to mention that he’s a- well… How would you react? He had a panic attack and had to be sedated… Klavier’s a wreck… I- I mean who wouldn’t be? But I just don’t understand why he thinks this is his fault.” Apollo glared down at his bracelet with a sigh and when he looked up at them again his eyes were dark and haunted. “You guys realize what this might mean, don’t you?” At their solemn, mutual nod the smaller man sucked in a deep breath and then let it out in a rush, closing his eyes for a moment. “Did you bring it?”
“Of course.” Phoenix fished around in his pocket, withdrawing the object and holding it out in the palm of his hand. The Magatama’s lambent green glow highlighted their faces in the dimness as they all paused for a moment to consider the possible ramifications of what they were about to learn, before gathering themselves and stepping through into the adjoining room to do what had to be done.
When they entered Kristoph’s hospital room, Klavier was there, slumped in an armchair and the blanket shrouded form reclining in the side-railed bed was silent and still, but for his slow, even breathing. Apollo scurried quietly into the darkened room and knelt beside the sleeping prosecutor, placing a hand on his knee and murmuring something close to his ear. The man started awake, eyes suddenly wide and Apollo shushed him, with a soothing noise, running a hand through his lank, disheveled hair.
Klavier noticed them hovering in the doorway and stood up quickly to greet them, putting on a smile that was so tragically false it nearly broke their hearts to look at him. The blond prosecutor was just as rumpled as Apollo, his generally flawless hair a mess, his face blotchy and tear stained. He appeared to be trying to voice a hello when they met in the center of the room but no sounds were able to make it past his trembling lips. His Adam’s apple bobbed pitifully as he choked, twin drops of moisture welling from his reddened eyes and tracking down his cheeks. So instead of speaking, Phoenix simply stepped forward and enfolded the shaking man gently in his arms, lightly stroking his back through his wrinkled black dress shirt and murmuring soothing words as Klavier collapsed against him, weeping into his lapel.
Miles moved to stand beside Apollo, offering his support with a pat on the arm and the silent grace of someone who had seen his share of anguish, while Klavier cried quietly, gripping Phoenix’s jacket and muttering a stream of intermingled German and English between choking sobs.
“Pride and joy… oh my Gott, Kris… dammit P-pride and Joy… What have I done? Ich weiß nicht… What shall I do? Ich weiß nicht... I don’t know…. Was soll ich tun? Oh God… Kris… Phoenix… it was all my fault… I am to blame for everything… I’m so- so sorry… ”
As Phoenix continued to comfort the despondent man, Miles followed his steady gaze over Klavier’s shaking shoulder, abyssal blue eyes impassively fixed on the figure beneath the cream colored blankets, on the barely detectable rise and fall of his breathing, on the pools and waves of flaxen hair across the pillow…
Unaware of them, Kristoph Gavin slept on.
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