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Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Sep 21)Topic%20Title
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Gender: Male

Location: God Less America

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:17 pm

Posts: 2289

Good afternoon, good evening, or good night from MoronSonOfBoron. In this thread I will offer up various pieces of fanfiction I have written, from the shorter snippets to the longer projects. Be sure to check back every now and again for updates. A lot of my fanfiction are contributions to the Phoenix Wright Kink meme on Livejournal, and I upload my fanfiction to deviantART as often as possible. If you don't have a deviantART account, you may be unable to view pieces that are tagged as mature content. If you have any problems with this, ask for help; I am perfectly willing to PM or e-mail full texts to readers.

Short List of Stuff I Like (But Certainly Not A Complete One) And In No Particular Order
    Ema/Edgeworth
    Viola/Apollo
    Franziska/Klavier
    Calling Klavier "Konrad"
    Lisa/Godot
    Maya/Phoenix
    Alita/Olga
    Dialogue
    Comedy
    Sex
    Darkness

I am interested in submitting fanfiction to Court-Records.net.
I have adult fanfiction I would like to post but have no venue to do so. If anyone has advice on this matter, please contact me with suggestions.

= 21 September 2010 =
Added "Clean Conscience", Shelly De Killer's strange friendship with a domestic prisoner.

= 27 May 2010 =
Added "Why Bother," a tragic slice of Franziska's and Klavier's younger years.
Added "Mover, Shaker," a sexy snippet about Ema's fear of lightning storms.

Spoiler: Update Log
10 February 2010
Added "Grace," a short piece about Apollo's personal life.

6 September 2008
Added "Oktoberfest," a sillier snippet of pairing peripatetics.

4 September 2008
Added "Right to be Loved," a silly snippet of romantic push-and-pull.

3 August 2008
Added "Strangers to Love," a domestic study of an unlikely couple.

28 July 2008
Added "Breaking Character," a sweet and short Steel Samurai screenplay.
Added "Happy Ending," which is anything but for Iris.

26 July 2008
Added "I'm A Lot Like You," a short story about the tumultuous affair between Franziska and "Klavier" in their teenage years.

16 July 2008
After struggling for a year with various Ace Attorney fanfiction projects, I decided I would try my hand at the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal. (Link to Part 9)
For now, I will do my best to catalog the shorts that result from my efforts there.

= = = = = = = = = =

Spoiler: "List of Works: Oldest to Newest"
Heaven Can Wait - Posted 16 July 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: 13+ for some violent or disturbing imagery (tagged as Mature[Warning])
Genre: Character Study
Status: Complete
Summary: Dahlia finds herself in Heaven, and faces the cold, hard truth of why she is there.
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal.

Bad Day - Posted 16 July 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: 16+ for language and sexual activity (tagged as Mature[Warning])
Genre: Slice of Life, Fluff
Status: Complete
Pairing: Viola Cadaverini and Apollo Justice
Summary: Viola, older, wiser, and worse for the wear, endures a particularly rough day at work. Thankfully, her man is there to make it all better.
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal. This will later be included or referenced in one of my ongoing fanfiction projects.

I'm A Lot Like You - Posted 25 July 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G
Genre: Character Study
Status: Complete
Pairing: Franziska von Karma and Klavier Gavin (Konrad Gavin in the story)
Summary: The tumultuous teenage romance of Franziska von Karma and Konrad Gavin.
I prefer the European "Konrad" over the American "Klavier."
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal. This will later be included or referenced in one of my ongoing fanfiction projects.

Breaking Character - Posted 28 July 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G
Genre: Action, Romance
Status: Complete
Pairing: Will Powers and Penny Nichols
Summary: An episode of Steel Samurai goes awry, but it's all for the better.
Part of this was written in the style of a screenplay.
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal.

Happy Ending - Posted 28 July 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G for slightly disturbing emotional content
Genre: Angst
Status: Complete
Pairing: Iris and Dahlia Hawthorne
Summary: Iris says good bye to her sister.
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal.

Strangers to Love - Posted 3 August 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G
Genre: Fluff
Status: Complete
Pairing: Viola Cadaverini and Apollo Justice
Summary: Viola and Apollo don't have much family to speak of... so they're starting their own.
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal. This will later be included or referenced in one of my ongoing fanfiction projects.

Right to be Loved - Posted 4 September 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G
Genre: Romance, Drama
Status: Complete
Pairing: Viola Cadaverini and Apollo Justice
Summary: Viola and Apollo have an awful cozy friendship that threatens to be something more, until Vera shows up.
Yes, this was inspired in part by "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.
Written for the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on LiveJournal. This will later be included or referenced in one of my ongoing fanfiction projects.

Oktoberfest - Posted 6 September 2008
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G
Genre: Romance, Slice of Life
Status: Complete
Pairing: Miles Edgeworth and Ema Skye
Summary: Ema convinces Miles to take her to Oktoberfest. Hilarity ensues.

Grace - Posted 10 February 2010
deviantART - PW Kink Meme on Livejournal - CR Forum
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: PG
Genre: Slice of Life
Status: Complete
Pairings: Apollo Justice and Viola Cadaverini, Miles Edgeworth and Ema Skye, Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey, Cody Hackins and Pearl Fey
Summary: Apollo's "family" needles him about his mystery girlfriend.

Why Bother - Posted 27 February 2010
deviantART - PW Kink Meme on Livejournal - CR Forum
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: G
Genre: Romance?
Status: Complete
Pairings: Franziska von Karma and Klavier Gavin
Summary: Klavier flirts with Franziska, but discovers the past still haunts her.

Mover, Shaker - Posted 27 February 2010
deviantART - PW Kink Meme
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfBoron
Rating: 16+ for sexual themes
Genre: Slice of Life, Erotic
Status: Complete
Pairings: Ema Skye and Miles Edgeworth
Summary: Ema is still scared of lightning storms, but finds comfort in the arms of her man.

Clean Conscience - posted 21 September 2010
deviantART - Kink Meme
Author: Garnet Red aka MoronSonOfboron
Rating: 16+ for disturbing undertones
Genre: Character Study
Status: Complete
Summary: Shelly De Killer's other job gives him a disturbing look into a new friend's circumstances.

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Last edited by MoronSonOfBoron on Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:38 am, edited 16 times in total.
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOBTopic%20Title

True love is forever.

Gender: Female

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:55 am

Posts: 2182

I like the Klavier/Franziska fic (I would love to read your other two as well, but I don't have a DA account so the mature rating is stopping me. Would it be possible for you to PM them to me? I understand if you don't wish to though). I think you captured their personalities well and gave us a good feel for the interesting dynamic they would have. There were a few minor grammar mistakes, but nothing really bad which is good.

Spoiler: T&T
I didn't understand the reference to "Melissa." Why would Klavier know Dahlia? I'm sorry. I must have missed something.


Anyway, very nice. :)
Proud Supporter of Phoenix/Iris, Ron/Dessie, Klavier/Ema, and Apollo/Vera
Fanfics Updated-12/25
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOBTopic%20Title
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Mistress Game Master

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Location: Glasgow, with My BFFL Adam Smith

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:29 am

Posts: 1798

Bee, somehow you always end up turning something warm-and-fuzzy into something tragic.

Ayup. :yogi:

But it's well-written "tragic," and your latest story is quite well done. It's an interesting dynamic, that's for sure--the "relationship" between Franziska and Konrad/Klavier. You've somehow managed to keep both of them in-character, and your Franziska was especially well-written.

I do agree with Mia about the "Melissa" thing, however. Hmm...I sense a backstory, here...
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Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOBTopic%20Title
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Hinted Kristoph/Dahlia shipping, actually. The first version of "I'm A Lot Like You" included an appearance by the adults (including Franziska's elder sister!), but I felt it distracted from the primary pair of the story. There are also other elements of Franziska's character I felt would be better served in the final version you read now.

The first version is currently drafted as "Younger," and I plan on posting it sometime as well once I have finished it. It's become something of a parallel story to this one, now.
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Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOBTopic%20Title

True love is forever.

Gender: Female

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:55 am

Posts: 2182

Ah, I see. That does make more sense. :) Perhaps it would be clearer if you included a few more minor details about Kristoph's and Dahlia's relationship.

Anyway, thank you for PMing me your other two stories. They were excellent. I particularly love the Dahlia-centered one, but both are very well done. You are a very talented writer. :)
Proud Supporter of Phoenix/Iris, Ron/Dessie, Klavier/Ema, and Apollo/Vera
Fanfics Updated-12/25
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 3 August)Topic%20Title
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I've said this to both of you outside of this thread already, but thank you and thank you.

Is it OK to bump this? I think it's OK to bump this. Here, let's bump this.

I've added three stories since the last post on the 27th:
Breaking Character
Happy Ending
Strangers to Love

These are all actually shorter pieces to tide my frustrated self over as I work on a larger piece for the Kink Meme that I started much earlier. It's about an older, disillusioned Regina Berry who has taken interest in being an amateur stripper, and befriends a teenage Cody Hackins over the internet.
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Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 3 August)Topic%20Title

True love is forever.

Gender: Female

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:55 am

Posts: 2182

I quite like "Breaking Character" and "Strangers to Love." They were cute, although I had a decent amount of trouble adapting to the script format of "Breaking Character," but that's really just a matter of my preferences. It's just not a format that I tend to like, but you wrote it very well and I still found myself enjoying it. "Strangers to Love" had a nice mix of romance and humor. Even if I don't much like the pairing, it was a fun read.
Proud Supporter of Phoenix/Iris, Ron/Dessie, Klavier/Ema, and Apollo/Vera
Fanfics Updated-12/25
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 3 August)Topic%20Title
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They're MUCH easier to read when they're properly formatted. I've been too lazy to fix the stupid deviantART formatting, though. They SAY you can use indents and spacing but it just goes to shit anyways when you submit it.
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Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 4 September)Topic%20Title

True love is forever.

Gender: Female

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:55 am

Posts: 2182

Aw... the new one is very cute. You did a nice job handling the characters and balancing the emotions in the piece. I felt so bad for Viola (I agree with her assessment that Vera is better for Apollo though :P). The ending was delightful. Beautifully done.
Proud Supporter of Phoenix/Iris, Ron/Dessie, Klavier/Ema, and Apollo/Vera
Fanfics Updated-12/25
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 4 September)Topic%20Title
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Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:17 pm

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Mia_Fey wrote:
Aw... the new one is very cute. You did a nice job handling the characters and balancing the emotions in the piece. I felt so bad for Viola (I agree with her assessment that Vera is better for Apollo though :P). The ending was delightful. Beautifully done.

Was it really? I felt it didn't really build enough towards that point, but then again I may be comparing it too much to the extensive fanon I've been constructing around this particular pairing.

Anyways, bump for new short, titled "Oktoberfest." This is the first one listed here that isn't for a kink meme prompt.

Again, I'm looking for solutions as to hosting adult content. Where should I go?
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Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 6 September)Topic%20Title

True love is forever.

Gender: Female

Rank: Ace Attorney

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:55 am

Posts: 2182

The new one made me giggle. The image of Miles in lederhosen amused me. It's hard to imagine it. :P

As for your problem, I'm pretty sure that fanfiction.net's mature rating system doesn't require any password or account to access the story. I think that all it does is keep a mature rated story from appearing in the general listings so someone would have to be looking for it or something like it to find it on the site, but actually accessing it from it's link shouldn't be an issue. The only other PW fanfiction site that I can think of requires you to have an account there to access mature rated stories (which I personally do now have for that site as I listed a few of my own fics there, but using that site would limit your audience for those stories so that won't work any better the the deviant art account you're using now).
Proud Supporter of Phoenix/Iris, Ron/Dessie, Klavier/Ema, and Apollo/Vera
Fanfics Updated-12/25
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Updated 10 February)Topic%20Title
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Whoa, I'm back.

Here's a ditty I call "Grace". Another contribution to the Phoenix Wright Kink Meme on Livejournal, this focuses on Apollo and his untraditional family as he wades through the costumed waitresses of Tres Bien to be reunited with his mysterious girlfriend...

deviantART
PW Kink Meme
Spoiler: "Grace: full text"
"Welcome to Wright and Co. Anything Agency, where-oh, it's you, Trucy." Apollo looked up from his tiny bit of workspace in the cluttered office, boxed in by magic show equipment on all sides and afforded only a threadbare view of the front door to the office and the signature blue of Trucy's dress. He disregarded her and went back to the legal forms he had been carefully penning that afternoon. "What's that you have in your hand?"

"Apollo! You have to take me here!" Trucy slapped the garish pink flier down on his desk, smearing some of the fresh ink on the legal papers before he could pull them away to safety.

"Could this wait?" He whimpered and turned away, but his boss' teenage daughter refused to let the flier leave his sight. "What's so big about Tres Bien?"

"Friday to Monday weekend event for Valentine's Day, couples get half off! That's like a buy-one-get-one-free sale!"

"It says that's on the admission charge, Trucy. You still have to pay for the meal." Apollo winced at the sight of the flier. The floral print and design was one thing, but the provocative imagery of scantily costumed young girls was something else. "Is this really the kind of restaurant for you, anyways?"

"Cody and Pearl are going, I wanted to hang out with them!"

"Then go with Machi."

"He has community service," Trucy huffed. "That and they don't allow unaccompanied minors in there."

"Go with your dad."

"He's taking Mommy." Trucy flatly stated, and Apollo looked at her quizzically. "...Maya Mommy, not Mommy Mommy."

"Speaking of which, what does your mother think of this?" Apollo took the damaged forms and replaced them with clean ones from a drawer-a precaution he had learned during his time at the agency. "...Our mother, that is."

"She's going with uncle Valant. But not as a real couple, that'd just be weird, they're like brother and sister. They'll still get the half-off, though, I think, it's not like you have to be a real couple. Which means you can take me!" She pointed and poked at the flier emphatically.

"Well, I'm now I'm definitely not going to." Apollo was looking down at his papers again and waved her off with his hand. "I'm not going to show my face at Tres Bien. Not with everyone there."

"Why not?" Trucy seemed genuinely curious rather than frustrated.

"It's really complicated, but let's just say the idea doesn't sit well with me." Apollo shrugged casually and continued writing. He felt something cold and smooth press up against his head, and he looked up yet again to see a big green comma between his eyes. "The way your father explained it to me, you don't have to actually press it against the person."

"Why do you have five psyche-locks, Polly?" Trucy had a mischievous smile on her lips, tilting her head as she pressed the magatama against his forehead. "And why are they black with little red hearts on them?"

"Okay, you want to play this game? Let's play this game." Apollo calmly folded his hands together and locked eyes with his magician half-sister. Calm as he seemed, and as easy-going as she was, there was a thick, tangible heat building up in the room, and for them reality seemed to freeze in place. He watched her watching him, sure that she could see each slight twitch of his face.

"You've been kind of skittish the past week or so. Is something wrong?"

"No, nothing's wrong." Apollo stuck his tongue out at her.

"Oh no, something is very, very wrong with this picture. I think you're missing something... Um, this is the part where I'm supposed to present evidence, but I don't really, um, have... um, anything to present. I mean, I don't have it, but I have it. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"Trucy, this isn't a toy. You could hurt yourself. Maybe if you just told me what you were getting at?"

"Okay! Well, you're missing your bracelet. The one from Mommy, the one that lets you see things like I do." Trucy stared into him intently, watching how his breathing changed by milliseconds. "You have four locks now."

"I'm practicing using the power without it." He rubbed his bare wrist, visibly reddening.

"Who would you use it on? We haven't had any cases to investigate recently, and you only have this post-trial paperwork keeping you busy." Trucy's eyes widened, and she just about jumped five feet in the air. "Three locks!"

"Alright, this is embarrassing..." Apollo shook his head. "Do you really want to know the truth of why I don't have it?"

"Well, duh." She tilted her head and pressed the magatama against his head a little harder.

"I hate you forever." He rolled his eyes, trying to resist the mystical force urging the truth out of him. "It's... I don't have it any more."

"What, you lost it? Mommy's not going to be happy about that."

"Hey, it's mine to give awa-crap."

"Haha! Two locks in one go, there's one left! Who is it?"

"You can't ask me a question you don't know the answer to."

"Pfft, it's easy. You gave it to your girlfriend." Trucy placed her free hand triumphantly on her hip and waited for the last lock to break apart. She looked a little disappointed after half a minute of waiting and intense staring.

"Could you be more specific?"

"Well, I don't know her name. You never even told Daddy her name." She pulled the magatama away, and the aura that had been permeating the room evaporated.

"Wait, did Mr. Wright put you up to this?" Apollo rubbed the sore spot on his forehead. Realizing he had been sweating, he pulled out his handkerchief.

"Yes. No. Maybe. Your girlfriend's identity has kind of been on our minds for the better part of a year now." Trucy pocketed the magatama and wrung her hands. "But I really do want you to take me to Tres Bien this weekend."

"I can't, I won't. That's it." Apollo tried to return to his paperwork but was stopped by slender juvenile hands crashing down on his papers.

"Polly! You keep going out of your way to keep your private life a secret. I mean, I can understand in Daddy's case, because he's your boss, and he is kind of a nosy jerk sometimes, but..." Trucy couldn't keep looking at him, crumpling slightly as tears fell from her eyes. "I'm your sister, damn it. Stop treating me like a stranger."

"Trucy..." Apollo leaned up out of his chair slowly, rubbing her shoulders gently. "Alright. As your brother, I'll take you."

"Yay!" Trucy sprung up over the desk as though she hadn't just had an emotional breakdown half a second earlier and knocked Apollo over with an enthusiastic hug. "Thank you thank you thank you!"

"There, but for the grace of God..."

...

"Welcome back, Mister Justice!" The slender brunette stationed at Tres Bien's reception desk snapped her feet together and gave a quick salute. Apollo tried to maintain eye contact with the bespectacled woman, embarrassed as he was. "Phoenix Wright's expecting you."

"Yeah, Wright party. Couple discount?"

"Anything for you, Mister Justice." She smiled broadly and took a look at Trucy. "And who's this young lady?"

"I'm Trucy. Trucy Wright! And this is my brother, Apollo Justice!" Trucy mimicked the salute from earlier, and the receptionist returned it in kind. "What's your name, ma'am?"

"A pleasure to meet you. I'm Maggey. I didn't know you were related to Phoenix Wright, Mister Justice."

"It's complicated." Apollo shrugged. He craned his neck to look about the establishment. "Ah, which section are they in?"

"Oh, he reserved the Seven Stars buffet. You know where that is." Maggey picked up her clipboard and hugged it against her chest as she walked away. "I'll go let the other girls know you're here!"

Trucy looked at Apollo as he loosened his collar and quickly tried to make his way through the restaurant. He seemed to be avoiding looking at the waitresses and their frilly uniforms, so she finally asked, "Is she your girlfriend?"

"No bracelet." Apollo held up his bare wrist for her to see. The moment's distraction was enough for another familiar face to jump into view.

"Hi, Apollo!" The waitress's golden blonde curls bounced as much as she did; her body threatened to pop out of her bustier.

"Yeah. Um, hi." He gave a weak smile and tried to go on his way, but she grabbed him.

"Hey, now, we're on a first name basis... Is something wrong?"

"What? No, nothing-"

"Hi, I'm Trucy. Trucy Wright! You know my brother, too?" Trucy shoved Apollo aside to greet the blue-eyed girl.

"Oh, hi Trucy! I'm Regina. And yeah, actually, I do. Is he really your brother? Because around here, he's practically family!" She bounced in place and giggled. "Aren't you, Apollo?"

"Well-"

"Wow, he's real cozy with all the girls here?" Trucy mirrored Regina's enthusiasm.

"Totally, he comes around here all the time to see our-"

"Regina, I don't think I should be holding up your work."

"Ooh, you're right. But do say hi to all the other girls, won't you? We're working extra hard this weekend, and we could use the boost." Regina pinched Apollo's cheek and laughed before trotting off.

"Polly, there's something you're not telling me."

"Getting magatama'd in the middle of Tres Bien is the last thing I need." Apollo rattled off before continuing with Trucy in tow. She held on to his arm tightly, trying to slow him down. She secretly smiled to herself as another waitress came up to accost him, but it broke into a surprised gape when she saw...

"Ema." Apollo only nodded, trying to pass by quickly though his composure seemed to evaporate in the presence of her dress' nonexistent neckline.

"Justice, my face is over here." Ema gripped Apollo's chin and firmly turned him round to face her. She chuckled. "Wright said you two would be coming. I just wanted to say hello."

"Detective Skye, you do know it's February?" Trucy piped up.

"Uh, yeah, what of it?" Ema turned to the teenage girl.

"Why the lederhosen? Oktoberfest isn't for another eight months."

"It's not lederhosen, it's a dirndl!" Ema stamped her foot. "God, why doesn't anyone know that? This was such a stupid idea, I should never have listened to him..."

"Wait, Gavin put you up to this-" Apollo tried to cut in.

"NO." Ema straightened her hair and smoothed out her clothes.

"Ema, I have another question!" Trucy raised her hand high in the air. "Why are you wearing a dirndl?"

"We all wear costumes and such here, didn't you notice?"

"Yeah, but I thought you were a detective?"

"She moonlights as a waitress here, Trucy." Apollo coughed. "Being a detective doesn't exactly pay the bills these days."

"Neither does being a famous defense attorney."
"Yeah, tell me about it."

"Wait, so you knew Ema was working here all along?"

"Not that long." Ema laughed nervously. "I actually found the job through Apollo, when he got together with-"

"Well, it was nice seeing you but we have a party! Have a good evening and I hope your dare works out." Apollo rushed Trucy off towards the buffet room in the back. Ema just crossed her arms and shook her head before picking up another order.

"It's a good thing you don't have your bracelet, Polly, you wouldn't be able to walk five feet in here without getting your head stuck in someone's cleavage!"

"Did this ever seem like a good idea...?"

...

"Blonde or brunette?"

"Maybe she's a redhead, you know how he likes the color red."

"Is she a redhead?"

"Where did you meet her?"

"Does she know you're here?"

"What are you doing tomorrow for Valentine's? Or is that a secret?"

"Is she taller than you?"

"Who isn't?"

Apollo refused to answer any of their questions, burying his attention in tea.

"Apollo, I would love to hear more about her. There's nothing to be ashamed of." Thalassa placed a reassuring palm on his shoulder. "I'm your mother, you can tell me these things."

"Didn't you want to meet my parents first?"

"Yes, but you told me they live halfway across the continent. At least, that's what I remember!" The older woman laughed.

"You all really ought to leave the young man alone. He's an adult, and I can understand an adult's need for privacy. Being a magician by trade, I know the power of secrets." The old magician Valant nodded sagely.

"Then you should know the significance of that bracelet I gave him. I would love to meet the woman he gave it to, she must be interesting."

"Why aren't we eating dinner yet?" Apollo spoke up.

"We're waiting for one more guest." Phoenix pulled up the faded blue sleeve of his suit to check his wristwatch. "Not like him to be late."

"He has his reasons, I'm sure." Ema stepped in with a fresh pot of tea.

"You look tired, Ema, all that waiting and serving... You should join us!" Maya took the time to get out of her seat next to Phoenix to bring her teacup around the table for a refill. "Really, ask your manager, I'll cover the cost."

"Oh, Maya, you're too good to me." The two women exchanged a light hug, Ema still holding on to her tray. "Walking around all day in heels, I don't know how you do it."

"Consider wearing flats; they would be easier on your posture, and contrary to popular belief I think they don't detract from your appearance." A stiff, dry man spoke up from the entryway. He bowed slightly as everyone turned towards him. "Apologies for my late arrival."

"Edgeworth!"

"Edgeworth?"

"Son of a bitch!" Ema spun around and pitched the teapot at him; he summarily ducked, and the earthware landed square in the arms of a much taller man.

"Hey, careful, pal! I just washed this coat!"

"I'm sorry, Ema-" Edgeworth's apology was cut short as his lips were closed off by Ema's. The man with the teapot respectfully stepped out of the way as the couple bowled towards a nearby wall.

"So, uh, Gumshoe... why was Edgeworth late?" Maya couldn't take her eyes off the heated snogging going on in the corner.

"Oh, I'm really sorry about that. See, I had plans to visit Maggey here, but I couldn't afford to feed myself, let alone the admission charge... I spent the better part of the past hour begging Edgeworth to get me in on the couples discount. Yep! Edgeworth and I are a couple, how crazy is that, pal?" Gumshoe beamed, and save for the heavy breathing behind him, there was a pregnant pause in the conversation. He blinked, and coughed. "Uh, yeah, that came out wrong."

"Relax, you're among friends. You should bring Maggey in here. Don't worry about the bill, I was just telling Ema I would cover the cost." Maya smiled and continued past him to break up the reverie, and Gumshoe excused himself to fetch Maggey.

"It's weird seeing Edgeworth getting all hot and bothered like that." Phoenix remarked, then he turned to Apollo with a smirk. "You and your girlfriend like that?"

"I don't have to tell you anything." Apollo crossed his arms coolly and leaned back in his chair.

"Just a moment ago you were flustered at the thought, and now you're being the wiseguy?"

"Let's just say I had an interesting thought. Don't worry, I'll introduce everyone to her soon enough. In the meantime, let's figure out what we're ordering."

"Oh yes, dinner. I'm not the variety of man that frequents this sort of establishment, do tell, how is it?" Valant leaned over the table, if only to sneak glances at Ema's dirndl.

"It's phenomenal. Best cooking in the county, bar none." Phoenix slapped the table for emphasis. "But it wasn't always like that. I actually had a case involving this place once, Maya helped me with that one. A single lunch dish cost twenty bucks, and it tasted like crap!"

"So what happened, then? With the food."

"Well, I can't say for sure. I'm no restaurant buff, but the food here is good now, and that's what counts."

"And it wasn't always a place for pervy old lonely bachelors like Daddy and his friends!"

"Now, now, Trucy, Edgeworth and I only came here to give your Uncle Larry some moral support."

"Moral support nothing, frankly I'm apalled women volunteer themselves for such degradation." Edgeworth finally took his seat, cravat stained with pink gloss.

"Says the man who suggested I wear this stupid thing?"

"It was your decision to work here, and I'll respect that. Moreover, doesn't it remind you of our times in Germany? I thought you liked Germany."

"You're a dork, Miles." Ema kissed his forehead and took a seat next to him. "Ich liebe dich."

"Ich liebe dich."

"You sure you two don't need your own room? I mean, Maya is paying for everyone as it is."

"Nick, the point of this was to get everyone together! As far as I'm concerned, everyone here is family. Even you, Gumshoe and Maggey!" Maya reclaimed her spot next to Nick and waved over the latecomers when she spotted a third in the back. "And you, too, uh..."

"Oh, Maya! This is the manager. She needs to speak with you about the party arrangements." Maggey stepped aside for everyone to see.

Amidst the garish colors of the restaurant, the manager was like a single black brush stroke, graceful and composed. When he saw her, Apollo got up from his seat and never broke eye contact with her as he walked around to greet her with a tender kiss. Apollo turned to face the group, his arms wrapped about this lovely shadow.

"This is... well, like she said. This is my family. Everyone, I'd like you to meet Viola."


...END...


Last edited by MoronSonOfBoron on Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Feb 27)Topic%20Title
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More PW Kink Meme entries! "Why Bother" was started in the summer of 2009 but I did not finish and submit it until this week. I often let old works "simmer" for a while and then return to them much later to see if my writing stands the test of time, and even with fresh eyes I can enjoy it and find nothing wanting.

And here's a slightly more adult one, "Mover, Shaker", written on the fly and off the cuff. Ema is still scared of lightning storms, but finds comfort in the arms of her man.
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PW Kink Meme

"Why Bother" focuses on the younger years of Franziska von Karma and Klavier (Konrad) Gavin, when she is tutoring him in the ways of prosecution. Franziska is holding something back...
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PW Kink Meme
Spoiler: "Why Bother: full text"
"Miss von Karma, your pupil has arrived." The governess cleared her throat as she stepped into the darkened room. Cobweb-like curtains over the windows sucked out the warmth of the summer morning. On the far end of the room was a lone girl with pale, silver hair and white skin, standing amongst the tarped furniture like a ghost in a graveyard. Her icy blue eyes were cast upward at a portrait, the drape that had been covering it hanging from a gilded corner, clutched in her gloved fist.

"Let him in." Franziska made sure her voice carried through the darkened room. She listened carefully before slowly wheeling about to face the governess with a wide-eyed, venomous gaze. "What is it?"

"He... requested that you greet him at the door." The governess shrank away instinctively, but Franziska did not move save for turning her eyes back to the painting.

"Leave me." Franziska waited for the footsteps to fade down the hallway before she climbed up a stepladder and raised the drape over the painting, taking a last moment to stare questioningly at the woman in the portrait, and the pale, silver-haired girl at the woman's side.

...

O that night, in your embrace
When you stole away the—


"ACH!" The blonde teenager jumped away from the door, the tail end of a whip chasing after him. "Hello to you, too, Franziska."

"Konrad Gavin, I do not have time for such foolish serenades." Franziska drew her implement back into the shadow beyond the doorway, the black leather snaking along the ground as she wound it around her wrist. "When you are here, your hobbies and interests are not my concern. What does concern me is your education in the ways of law and prosecution."

"What happened to us being friends?" Konrad adjusted his shirt; it was an ostentatious dark violet that accented the slight tan of his exposed chest.

"You are not here as a friend, you are here as my student." She inspected him at a distance as he entered the foyer, closing the door behind him. "And button your shirt up."

"You don't have much love for music, do you?" Konrad ignored her instruction, casually thumbing his pockets and strolling after her. Franziska just cracked her knuckles, heels clicking as she made her way up the stairs, then paused just before the double doors leading to the study.

"With perfect execution and perfect intention, even music can be suitable for a von Karma to appreciate or practice." Her gloved hand wrested the door ajar, the hinges groaning. She made a clipped strut to her large chair and work desk at the end of the study, where her materials were already laid out. "Your little songs lack both, as do your study habits."

"Wouldn't that be the fault of my teacher?" Konrad helped himself to a nearby seat, clasping his hands together and wearing a big stupid smile. The crackle of leather was audible as Franziska crushed her whip before throwing it on the desk.

"Class is in session. Today we continue on yesterday's subject. You do recall what that was, yes...?"

...

"Is your head so foolishly small that the knowledge I've imparted to you in the past two hours is too heavy for you to lift it from the table?" Franziska prodded the boy with her bundled lash, and he lazily craned upwards to flop back in his chair. He smiled nervously.

"Franziska, can I take a break?"

"A von Karma professional never takes vacations." She smirked and turned away. "Then again, you're not a von Karma."

"No, most definitely not." He watched her as she sauntered around the table, but averted his gaze quickly when she spun around to face him again.

"You have ten minutes." Franziska almost made it to her desk before Konrad caught up to her, tugging eagerly on her sleeve. "No, I won't listen to your new ballad."

"But I spent all last night writing it!"

"You were instructed to review for today's material." Her brow furrowed as she turned to look at him; she forgot that he was taller, despite being her junior, and leaned to the side a bit to meet his eyes. There was an uncomfortable silence as she felt his fingers gently squeeze her arm. "Unhand me."

"Not until you hear it."

"I don't have the time for this nonsense."

"We have nine minutes left in our break."

"You have eight minutes left in your break." She gingerly peeled his fingers away from herself. "I
must review the lesson plan."

"But you already had everything prepared." Konrad eagerly followed her to her desk.

"I am making sure it is perfect." Franziska stretched out her arms over her computer keyboard.

"I'm sure your lesson plan is perfect... just like you." The boy added a deep tone to his words, like the groan of satisfaction that followed eating a good chocolate.

Pleasure, pleasure
But a fleeting melody—


"Stop that." Franziska reached for her whip before realizing she had left it on the table in the center of the study. She moved to stand up, but Konrad braced the chair, standing over her. She had an exquisitely sour expression on her face as she listened to his hackneyed lyrics. On the words went, uninspired at best and tasteless at worst. Franziska spewed a drawn-out sigh while he continued crooning in a voice broken by adolescence. When he had finished, she shoved him away from her desk. "Mein Gott, I thought you'd never finish."

"It is a bit long, but what did you think?"

"You said you spent all of yesterday night writing the lyrics, how long did you spend thinking about the music itself?"

"This morning." He grinned.

"Ugh!" Franziska shook her head, straightened her hair, pulled her chair forward, and returned to working on her computer. "You truly have no talent for music."

"But it's my passion. I always wanted to be a rock star when I grow up!"

"Then you should stop wasting my time with these legal tutoring sessions." Franziska huffed and clenched her fingers really tightly, resisting the urge to hit something. She flexed and relaxed, then went back to work. Konrad tilted his head, watching her as he leaned on her desk.

"You don't love music at all, do you?"

"I don't love your music."

"Music in general, then?"

"With perfect execution and perfect intention—"

"Don't give me that again. What do you think about music, personally? Don't you have any personal feelings about music?" Konrad leaned in with a severe expression. Franziska stopped and blinked at him, for once seeming to ponder how she should react.

"I am not going to inadvertently help you with another ballad! You go too far, Konrad Gavin." She abruptly shot up out of her chair and stormed off in the other direction, checking her watch. "Return to your seat. Our break is over."

...

"Oh, Franziska, did you want to play, too?" Konrad ran his fingers over the ebony and ivory keys as he strutted past the grand piano, eyes locked with Franziska's fierce gaze.

"No, I came here to tell you to cease that infernal racket you pretend is music. If you're going to spend the afternoon here waiting for your brother to pick you up, you should do so respectfully."

"You're the one who has a study next to the music room." Konrad eyed the various instruments mounted inside glass cabinets. Strings, horns, and pipes of many persuasions sat unused behind locked panes, save for one mysterious wooden cabinet with its door slightly ajar. "What's in here—"

"Don't touch that!" She was upon him like the Furies, clawing him away from the small armoire. Turning away from him, she leaned against the cabinet with her arms protectively spread across its finely carved doors.

"Wow. I wasn't aware you had such a passion for music." Konrad chuckled weakly. The way Franziska was clutching the armoire was a little unsettling to him.

"Don't... play any music... while I am in my study." She measured her words, dragging them out with interlaced breaths. "I can't... concentrate."

"Are you okay, Franziska?" He tried to approach, but her face shifted slightly to give him a mean look. He backed off and ran a hand through his pale golden hair, wondering what to say. "I was just interested in the kind of music you liked. I promise I won't play anything in here if you'd show me."

"Alright," she whispered. She softened slightly, looking at the tile floor for a moment as she considered the situation. Her eyes were still downcast as she peeled back the wooden doors, pulling from the darkness a finely crafted acoustic guitar with an inlay in the shape of a cherry blossom. Cradling it in her arms, she walked to a nearby chair and sat down in it. "You promise not to laugh?"

"I would never." Konrad took a seat as well, leaning forward with anticipation.

Franziska raised the instrument into her lap, with the same respect one might show a sword. She handled the wood tenderly, fingers momentarily tracing the cherry blossom inlay before floating over the strings. After checking their tune, she paused a moment before blasting forth an energetic chord.

I wanted to be next to you
You got a look that makes me think you're cool
But it's just sexual...


Her voice trailed off, but her strumming continued unhindered. Her lips pursed, and her breathing could be heard rasping through her nostrils. Her voice came back as a whisper at first, picking up with the accompaniment.

Why bother, it's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me
This happened to me twice before
It won't happen to me any more


Franziska's fingers continued flying over the frets, eyes aflame as she clenched her teeth. She played each note with intensity, starting to rush a bit as she lost herself in the song. She began singing again after the interlude, again starting quietly and struggling to pick up in volume. Each line left her sucking up breath, trying to keep up with herself.

It's a crying shame, I'm all alone
Not with you, nor her, nor anyone
Won't you...
...let me outta here
Why bother, it's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you—desert me
This happened to me... twice before
It won't happen to me...


Her hands slowed, her breathing quickened, her lips quivered as she tried to form the words. She closed her eyes for a moment, and she fought to open them only to look up at Konrad from the floor before losing consciousness. Holding her in his arms, he realized her heart had stopped, and he started screaming for help.

...

Franziska didn't move in sleep, save for the errant twitching of her left hand, fingers rhythmically alternating in arcane patterns. Konrad tried mirroring them covertly, holding his hands close to himself, and found that they felt very familiar to him. His concentration was broken by a stern, deep voice.

"Today, of all days." The man wore a stiff, dark overcoat, an unfriendly contrast to his worn, grey features. He was carrying a large case in one hand. "Still she haunts me."

"Mister von Karma?" Konrad cleared his throat and tried to address Franziska's father with more composure than he could muster. The older man didn't so much as look at him, gaze transfixed upon his bedridden daughter. Moments passed in such stark silence that even the tiny wisp of breath from her lips snared their attention.

"Franziska." Her father started towards her bedside, kneeling down and taking her small, twitching hand in his. His words felt stilted and flat, and his brow furrowed as he forced them out through his frustrated grimace. "Tell me what you need."

She seemed to mutter something, but her eyes didn't open, didn't turn towards his voice. Konrad watched Von Karma open the case slowly and methodically; it contained the same cherry-blossom guitar from earlier, which he lifted gently and placed at Franziska's side like one might a bouquet or cherished doll.

"So much like her mother. More than I would wish..."

"Excuse me, Mister von Karma, we're going to empty the room, but you insisted on supervising—"

"That room will be completely emptied in fifteen minutes!" Von Karma rose and chased the mover out and down the hallway, leaving Konrad with Franziska. The young boy didn't dare say anything, but the buzzing cell phone in his pocket told him it was time to leave. He picked up his bag and turned away, but was stopped at the door by a whisper.

"...Konrad." The crisp softness in her voice sent a tingle across his neck, and he couldn't help but return to her bedside.

"Yes, Franziska?"

"Study for tomorrow." She tried to raise her hand to point threateningly at him, but fatigue dropped it onto the guitar at her side. She looked at the instrument curiously, half-awake even as she accurately traced the cherry-blossom inlay. "What... is this?"

"Your father brought it."

"I don't want it... take it away." Franziska pushed it towards him.

"I like your music. I've never heard you play before." Konrad tried smiling, but that didn't work. "Will you teach me how to play like that, too?"

"Just take it away." Franziska shifted onto her side, facing away from him and the guitar. "I don't want to...

"Franziska?"

"...remember." She took a deep breath and stopped talking to him.

...

"What's that you have there, little brother?" The tall blonde man in the driver's seat pointed at the guitar case slung across Konrad's back.

"It's a guitar, Kristoph. What else does it look like?" He opened the door, turning around to take one last glance at the Von Karma manor. He saw the movers handling a large pane, covered by a drape. The wind caught it and it fell away, revealing a painting of a woman embracing a silver-haired girl in one arm. Though the woman's hair was of a different shade, their faces seemed almost identical. In her other arm she held a finely crafted acoustic guitar with a unique cherry-blossom inlay.


END


Last edited by MoronSonOfBoron on Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Assorted Fanfiction by MSOB (Sep 21)Topic%20Title
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Another Kink Meme short that chronicles Shelly De Killer's odd encounter at an affluent household, and the short-lived friendship he forms with its prisoner.
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Warning: Undertones of domestic abuse.
Spoiler: Clean Conscience
He has a legit cleaning business, so during interims between his normal contract work he offers his services to the affluent. Today he is visiting the small manor of a businessman, who is away on vacation with his family. No one of consequence would be there, he was told. Perfect.

He has learned that the general cleanliness and livability of a home has nothing to do with income or stature, but attitude towards life and self. The cabinet of crystal sculptures conceals a nest of cobwebs and rodent detritus, for example. Inconveniently arranged furniture sits disrespectfully over a magnificent rug, and beneath the rug lies what must be a map of Europe, but is curiously acid-stained parquet flooring. There is a forgotten collection of toothbrushes behind the toilet.

He moves upstairs and, after carefully picking through the office materials, oils down dusty and chipped wooden bureaus. There are a few curious contradictions: a smiling family portrait, with the businessman, his wife, and two daughters who look as different as night and day (though they both have dark hair); the master's bedroom has only the man's clothes, one of the auxiliary bedrooms has the woman's. Everything seems neat enough as one would expect from a family put upon by daily pressures of life, save for the smaller bedroom that must have been a converted pantry. He respectfully takes the corkboard down so he can clean the wall, but upon finding an excessively long tally of small hash marks behind it, he decides otherwise. He chuckles as he leaves the room, little girls can be so silly.

There is a loud thump from the ceiling. His first thought is upstairs, but he realizes he is on the top floor, so it must be the attic. In the interest of thoroughness, he decides to go to it after he finishes with the rest of the house. A continued grinding and shaking from upstairs makes him think otherwise. He was not equipped for pests, but would have to investigate nonetheless.

Alas, he was not given the key to the attic. As the thumping and scraping continues, he follows its path, noting that it has moved approximately three feet from its initial location just past a hallway lamp. Its desperate rhythm chills him from experience. It is not strange, but wrong; he finds it necessary to fashion a lockpick.

Predictably, it is an effort to find any light in the attic, apart from a lone window at one end of the cavernous space. He brings up a lantern and sets it atop a dusty box as he gets a bearing on his environment. He counts the paces between the attic ladder and the hallway lamp. There is something on the floor just around a pile of junk. The slow approach of his lantern's light reveals ragged, discolored curtains of hair trailing from around the corner. An animal?

...No...

She is tied to a chair, what must have caused the ghastly thumping and scraping as she struggled. She is still now, fighting for breath from behind duct tape. In a rash impulse, he rights her and rips her gag away. She looks at him wordlessly, glaring at him with dark eyes. He can't stand it, and moves around behind her to undo the rope. She kicks the chair backwards as soon as she is free, leaving him on the floor as she stumbles to the ladder and moves down the ladder.

He scrambles down after her and follows the trail of dusty, uneven foot prints—she must be limping—and hears a clattering in her room. She is stuffing clothes and belongings into a backpack. He watches her as she pushes past him into the hallway and towards the stairs, dragging one foot along. Hovering at a cautious distance, he watches her rifle through desks and drawers for something. In frustration she finds a hammer and goes to the living room, throwing the furniture into disarray once again and cursing at the carpet.

She starts hammering at each wood panel. One comes loose, and she backs off suddenly. She beckons him to come over.

"Pull that out."

"Pardon me?"

"Pull it out."

"I'm afraid I can't do that. It would be a breach of my client's trust."

"You let me out of the attic, that's a pretty big damn breach of trust." He feels a bit startled at her harsh tone and harsh words. Looking into her dark eyes, and nervously glancing at the wall portraits, he knows in that moment that this is the businessman's daughter. With an exhalation of purpose he bends down to rip the wood panel out of the floor—

And he lets out a yelp. The searing feeling of skin and hair being transformed etches itself into his forehead. He is familiar with acid and its applications; he hadn't expected to find it in such a home. He reels for a moment, and before he can ask what is going on he sees the girl yanking a small black lockbox out of the space beneath the floor, making a dash for the garage. Instinct compels him to chase after her.

Her determination makes her quick, but her limp makes her slow. It is easy for him to catch her against one of the cars, but one of many in that luxurious flotilla sitting idle in the hangar. He catches himself before his natural inclinations can harm her. He hisses through the pain still eating away at his forehead.

"Who are you, young lady?" He notices how small she really is, waifish and frail. Her eyes nervously dart towards the boat in the corner of the garage. "Dolly, is it?" She doesn't answer, seeming to cower under his weight. She mumbles something unintelligible, not seeming to look at anything in particular.

"Answer me. Is Dolly your name?" The girl winces at the sound of it. Her whining becomes an incoherent smattering of words.

"No, please... don't... Daddy, don't..."

"Pardon?" When leans in to inquire, she thrusts her head forward and into his, knocking him backwards. She stumbles past him and into the foyer. He shakes it off and clambers after her, amazed at her determined efforts. He bursts through the front door to see her descent the front steps of the house, head over heels.

She lies there at the bottom of the steps, like a discarded puppet. When he approaches, she comes to life again as though her strings are being pulled again. Her bad leg keeps her from escaping his arms as he handily lifts her up and carries her back into the house despite her protests.

"You put me the fuck down! I'm leaving!"

"Miss Dolly, please calm down. I can't have you disturbing the neighborhood."

"The fuck you can't. Let me go!"

She still squirms in his arms, weakened by her ordeal but ever feisty as they ascend the stairs and return to the upstairs bathroom. There, he cleans and dresses her cuts, old and new. She sits on the toilet, sullenly accepting his aid.

"Your ankle is dislocated. I'll need to—"

"Don't call 911. I don't want my sister to know."

"...If we don't tend to it immediately, you'll suffer from the cut-off blood circulation. I'll need to manipulate the joint back into place. I'm not a medical professional, but I do have experience with these types of injuries. I can tell you with all confidence that it's going to hurt."

"Then fucking do it already!"

After enduring a wall of obscenities, he examines himself in the bathroom mirror. There is a shock of newly white hair sprouting from the stinging area on his forehead.

"It had more when I opened it the first time." Her voice is slight and airy with youth but gravelly from the ordeal. When he turns to look at her, she is clumsily stroking her discolored, reddish hair. "It used to be black, like..." She doesn't finish the sentence.

"What are the hash marks in your room for?"

"I don't want to talk about that." She looks away, her gaze turning to behind her seat. "You cleaned them out?"

"Hm? Oh, the toothbrushes. Yes, is that a problem? They were quite filthy, piled up there."

"Fine. Hated those. I could never get clean..." She sighs heavily and seems to shrink.

"...Speaking of which, it was quite dusty in the attic. Would you like me to draw you a bath?" He catches himself again, not in time, but the impulse sends a rush of doubt and adrenaline through him, particularly when confronted with her confused but optimistic stare.

"Isn't that a... um, breach?"

"Miss Dolly, I'm a cleaner. A bath is arguably within my purview."

"...Okay, a bath would be nice, I guess." She mumbles. "And don't call me Dolly. Just Fey will do."

"Miss Fey it is, then."

"Just Fey." She shakes her head. "What's your name? Don't you cleaner guys usually have a little tag on the uniform?"

"My name is Shelly." He nods and kneels a short distance from her, reaching into the tub.

...

"Just leave them on the counter, I can get up by myself."

"You're sure?"

"Yeah, fuck off. Seeing me naked would be a breach of trust."

Shelly waits patiently outside. Fey has a point, but something within him is deeply troubled by her circumstances. He doesn't have much time to ponder them, as she opens the bathroom door.

"Hey, um, if you go to my dad's room, there's a diamond cane in the closet. I could use that."

"I think I should carry you."

"Fuck you, I can walk on my own—" Fey pivots on her the one foot and braces herself against the door frame. She stumbles, and when Shelly catches her she unapologetically claws her way over and around him like another piece of furniture to be used for support. Then she summarily mounts his back. "I changed my mind."

"Miss Fey, unless you're in a rush to go somewhere I beg you to think of my lumbar region."

"Just Fey, I said. You're like a fucking butler or something." She scoffs and braces up against his back, listlessly flopping her head over his shoulder. "I'm hungry. Take me to the kitchen."

"I am not a butler, Fey. I'm a cleaner. And being your nurse is well outside my responsibilities."

"Your idea." Shelly can't deny that, and summarily takes her downstairs to the kitchen.

"What shall you have for lunch, Fey?"

"Um, I dunno. Just cookies and milk, I guess. Cookies are in the pantry over there." Fey rests her head on the counter, never giving effort to sit upright in her stool.

"Actually, looking at what's in here, I could make something quickly—"

"Just cookies and milk, Shelly." So Fey has cookies and milk for lunch. Like a wilting plant given a fresh watering, she seems to brighten and straighten up in her seat.

"Fey, do you mind me asking—"

"He did it." Fey interrupts him as usual.

"You mean your father? The man of this household?"

"Yeah. He hired you to clean the house while he and mom are on vacation, right?"

"He said he was on vacation with his family."

"Yeah, exactly. Except Val's moved out, and he told mom I'm sleeping over at a friend's. Bullshit stories all around."

"But why?"

"Why? The fuck should I know or care what he thinks. He's a fucking..." Fey stuffs her mouth with another cookie, forgetting to enjoy its taste.

"But you're not running away in the state you're in."

"Yeah, so much for that." She sighs. A moment passes, and she pushes the plate over to him. "Not hungry."

...

"This is a serious breach of trust."

"You know you really don't have to help me if you don't want?" Fey offers blandly from the bed as she fumbles with a large controller, half of her attention on the video game. "Fucking assholes. Yeah, fuck you. Triple kill!"

Shelly shakes his head at the oddly glorified violence (and completely unrealistic ballistic simulations) and goes back to picking the lockbox from the living room. He has it carefully placed on Fey's desk, cordoned off with newspaper and rags in case anything else comes out. "What's in here, anyways?"

"Diamonds, if he's so touchy about it. Course, he flips his shit if you touch any of his wares. Don't know why he keeps that one in the house."

"Interesting. This is actually a trick lock with multiple configurations. Only the person who set it would remember how to open it."

"Well, figure it out. We have the whole weekend."

"What's this 'we'?" Shelly looks at her inquisitively, but she just sticks her tongue out and goes back to her game.

"Fuck yeah, no-scope."

...

Shelly is used to sleeping in chairs, but is not used to sleeping in large rooms or hallways. It seems a breach of trust to use Fey's chair in her room, but it allows him the close quarters he is used to. That, and he can keep an eye on her, or would have if he were used to being around other people. He is both a talented natural and an experienced professional, something Fey learns quite quickly when he twists her arm away and holds her down.

"Holy shit, man, calm the fuck down. Why the fuck do you have a gun on your chest?"

"...Sorry." Shelly releases her and steps away. "But don't ever touch it again."

"Still, what the fuck? You're a fucking janitor." Fey sits up on her bed, clutching a pillow to herself.

"A cleaner, Fey. I'm a cleaner." Shelly secures his gun and straightens his coat. "Let's just say it helps to be prepared. In my years as a professional, this much I have learned."

"Bull fucking shit you're a janitor. What are you really doing working for my dad?"

"I'm a cleaner. Here's my card." Shelly pulls out his legit business card. Fey doesn't move to take it, so he just drops it onto her bed.

"Don't fuck with me. I know the people he deals with." She scoots backward into her pillows. "The police department, for one. Fucking corrupt to the core. Valerie doesn't know that. Thinks she got in on her good merits. Daddy was pulling the strings with all his money and whores and fucking politicians."

"I see." Shelly just nods, and the conversation stops. "I think I should sleep outside."

"Go fuck yourself." Fey just turns over and goes back to sleeping.

...

The next day sees Shelly finishing up his cleaning duties in between cooking meals (and even a little internet time on the computer). There is little conversation between him and Fey, even when he goes back to picking the lockbox. At first it was an inconvenience, but he realizes the underlying exhiliration of discovering what exactly is inside the thing. He reasons to himself as to whether it's a breach of his client's trust; after all, his client's daughter requested it be opened, and most people can assume a client's family is to be trusted. Except when the client's family interrupts one's lockpicking high.

"Hey, Shelly?"

"Yes, Fey?"

"Could you... help me with something?"

"That's precisely what I'm doing."

"No, I mean something else. In the bathroom." Fey's usually curt manner draws his curiosity, and he can't help but abandon his work for at least a minute.

"How's your foot doing?" He enters the bathroom to see her holding a tube of dye and some plastic gloves. "Um, what is all this?"

"Hair dye. Since... yeah." She shrugs. "I mean, it'll just go faster with two people, sort of. And I have really long hair, so."

"Well, I suppose we have time." Shelly shrugs and puts on some gloves.

"There, just... gently work it in and comb it through... No, slower. Make sure it's even. Get each part..." She remains still as he applies the dye thoroughly, making sure to go over her long, virginal hair evenly and with care. "Yeah... like that."

Nothing comes to Shelly's mind in terms of conversation, but the silence makes their breathing seem that much louder. Fey, for once, seems to relax.

"Okay, how does it look from the front?" She turns around for him to see. He makes some adjustments and wipes stray dye from her forehead, still as methodical and exacting as ever. Her dark eyes, always full of fire, somehow cool at this very moment. His fingertips gently massage her scalp as they stare into each other.

"He can't find out about all this."

"Take me with you."

"I can't risk it."

"Breach of trust?"

"Not just that, but... if your father really is part of the group that's corrupting the police department, I can't risk angering him or his associates."

"That's why you have the gun. You really do work for them?"

"Quite the opposite. I would never work for their kind, and they know this. They don't like me at all because of it." Shelly runs the facts and the names through his mind, imagining himself in the midst of an underworld war. For a moment he can see himself standing on a hotel balcony, with this broken butterfly in his arms, but he shakes his head. "I'm just one man."

"Yeah, figures." She looks away for a moment, steeling herself with a smirk as she looks up at him again. "At least I'll look nice when you put me back up there, huh?"

"Yes, you will." Shelly smiles, running his fingers through her shimmering red hair.

...

"Alright, remember, the fail-safe switch is located under the second nib, with a three-quarter clockwise turn—"

"And you left the instructions in my room, yadda yadda, I get it. Come on." Fey looks odd, smiling as she sits ropebound in the chair. Shelly had taken the time to polish and oil it down, as well as sweeping up the attic space she would occupy. "You wanna take a picture? My dad likes taking pictures sometimes."

"Hush." Shelly shakes his head at the poor humor and cuts out a piece of duct tape. "Any parting words?"

"I dunno. Goodbye?" Fey shrugs, the pale light of the attic making her freshly-colored hair glimmer. "Honestly? I hate goodbyes."

"Interesting etymology about that word. It's a contraction of the phrase 'May God be with you.' It's really not such a bad thing to wish someone."

"Heh, that's funny. I stopped believing in God a long time ago. If I ever did."

"That's quite alright." Shelly pulls the duct tape over her lips. "So did I."

END

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