Note: No real particular timeline. After Case Four, of course. Only spoilers is knowing that she's innocent. ;)
One Step at a Time
I mean, Ordinary Day
One Step at a Time
“Hey, pass me the scissors, Pearly,” Trucy requested. “Please?” Pearl rolled her eyes, but shifted the scissors in her direction. The two 16-year-olds were creating numerous Valentines. Even though they were much too old to be passing Valentines to all of their classmates, the tradition between them had grown to the point that they simply had to continue it. So, instead of making a Valentine for many students, they simply made them for special people in their lives.
“How are they turning out?” Vera slowly walked over, glancing over the teen’s heads. Vera had been invited by Apollo to come to the Wright Agency. “No one should be alone on a day like this,” he had murmured as he motioned her to follow him. Vera brought her art supplies with her and off the two of them had gone.
“I think they’re pretty good. Though, Pearly is more of an artist than I
am,” Trucy pouted huffily. Vera cracked a small smile; even though she was known as a prodigious artist, she still enjoyed simpler arts that normal people created. Feeling a little inspired, she opened her sketch book and began to draw. Pearl giggled as she patted her friend’s hand in assurance.
“I’m sure your special someone
will love it!” Pearl teased. “What about that foreign pianist you were mentioning before?” Trucy folded her arms, her cheeks reddening.
“Oh yeah? Well, I bet Cody
will simply swoon—”
“What’s a “special someone”?” Vera interrupted innocently. Trucy and Pearl glanced at her with wide eyes. Vera began to squirm in her seat nervously. Did I say something wrong?
“W-well…” Pearl stuttered, trying to figure out how to explain herself. “’Special someone’ is kind of an exaggeration… I mean, since today is Valentine’s Day…”
“We should’ve said, ‘Your valentine’! It… doesn’t last as long.” Trucy covered for her. Vera furrowed her eyebrows in confusion; what were they “hiding”?
“My father and I would celebrate Valentine’s Day,” Vera recalled, a little sadly. “Since it was just the two of us, he would always say that I was his valentine.” She remembered her father’s happy face with his sad eyes, explaining her that Valentine’s Day was about loving those people who meant the most to you. “But what does this have to do with a ‘special someone’? And why can’t your valentine be you valentine forever?”
“Um,” Pearl seemed at a loss for words. “The ‘valentine’ you’re thinking of is different from what we’re thinking of.” Vera blinked uncertainly. “S-see, that’s more family-like
love. We’re talking about romantic love. You know, like those sappy romance stories on television.” Vera became lost in thought. She remembered her father showing her some romantic movies. That was the only way Vera experienced romance at all; her father never truly explained it. Only that he and her mother felt it once… before she left.
“Yeah!” Trucy interjected. “Have you ever felt feelings for a guy who makes you feel great inside, and you just anticipate every chance you get just to say a word to him or have him glance at you? And you want to make yourself noticeable just so he’d notice you!?” she talked quickly.
Vera raised her eyebrows in surprise.
“That’s this… romantic valentine love you speak of?” she whispered. It was one thing to watch love unfold on a TV screen; it was another to actually hear it being described.
“Uh-huh. We call them ‘crushes,’ though,” Pearl explained further. “But on Valentine’s Day, you ask that person to be your valentine. And for one day, the two of you are together!”
“But… what if the feeling is more than just those?” Vera asked softly. She immediately saw one person’s face as the girls described this whole idea to her. But she needed to know if it was true…
“What do you mean?” Trucy questioned, blinking in surprise.
“I mean…” Vera sighed as she tried to make her feelings understood. “You care for the person more than that. You,” her eyes became downcast, lost in thought. “You want to make the person feel happy. You feel happy when he is. And,” she bit her lip before continuing. “You feel safe around him.”
The girls had been silent with small shock. The only sound heard was the scissors that fell from Pearl’s hand. What did I do now?
Vera thought in frustration.
“Vera…” Trucy began, seeming uncertain to ask her pertinent question. “Do you…?”
“…have a special someone?” Pearl added on. It was Vera’s turn to be surprised.
“Is that… what a special someone is?” she asked weakly. She closed her eyes for a second; sure enough, there he was. His dark brown, comforting eyes; his cute little bunny ears of hair; his gentle smile. Was Apollo Justice… her special someone? And if so… what did that mean for her?
Apollo gritted his teeth as he biked quickly down the street. He was glad that he had to concentrate on something; for the last half-hour, he felt like he’d been walking in a dream.
After taking Vera to the Wright Anything Agency, Apollo had done the one thing
he knew he should not have done; walking away from there. Leaving her
He invited her over as a friendly gesture, or so he told himself. The last few weeks, with a little encouragement from Mr. Wright, Apollo had patiently talked with Vera, sometimes getting her out of her lonely home and take a stroll in her neighborhood. It was just a pleasant gesture, at first. But soon, it had become… different
. Vera was a kind and gentle soul; while she didn’t know much about the real world, she could be prompted to speak a little about her art and even a few books her father let her read (mostly wild fantasy for the flighty imagination) while she was cooped up in the little house. Hearing her talk a little gave a sort of comfort for Apollo. And even when she wouldn’t speak, she was always listening, even when Apollo would become passionate in his spiels. Still, he’d always apologize for raising her voice at her, while she’d only calmly respond that she didn’t mind. He had began to care more for her well-being than before (which, he was surprised at), and he always did anything he could just to see that smile, beautiful smile of hers.
Still, it was the gift’s store’s fault, according to Apollo. He cursed himself for letting his thoughts wander as he sped on in his bike. He had left because he realized how difficult it was to see her on Valentine’s Day and not be able to celebrate it with her. Not that he’d know how. So he left to get some fresh air, and happened upon a tiny gift shop.
The store leaked with Valentine’s Day paraphernalia; hearts, candies, and ribbons seemed to typhoon the little shop. I don’t want any of this…
he sighed. I want something more… meaningful.
It was this thought that led him to find it
. The perfect gift.
Without a second thought, he had bought it and sprinted out of the store, hoping to distract himself from the impulsive action he just took.
Before he realized it, the Wright’s Anything Agency sign rose up before him as he skid his bike to a halt. Apollo shook his head. What am I doing? How is she going to react to this?
He knocked on the door quickly, hoping he wouldn’t face—
Her. Of course he would, Apollo groaned as he saw Vera open the door. However, his sudden apprehension was wiped away when Vera’s eyes widened with what seemed like excitement.
“Y-you’re back!” she stammered. Apollo could only nod. Say something, you idiot.
Say what!? I can’t mess this up!
Why should you care? You’re friends!
Yeah, the gift sure doesn’t say so.
It’s now or never.
He smiled tightly; he wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into. The feelings he felt for her was more than simply friendly caring. He wanted to be able to touch her hand without embarrassment; he wanted to embrace her tightly when she was gloomy; he wanted more of an attachment to her than just her helpful defense attorney.
He wanted to be her… he couldn’t think of the word, but something more than what he was now.
And he’d have to convey that with this gift. Whether she’d accept it or not.It’s now or never.
“Vera, can I talk to you out here?” Apollo asked, clearing his throat to sound stronger than he felt. Vera blinked in surprise and nodded, closing the door behind her.
“Is something wrong?” Vera asked worriedly. He only smiled through nervously clenching teeth.
“No. Um, I… got something for you,” he responded lamely, presenting the package. Vera hesitantly accepted it, her eyes widening still.
It was a new calendar for the year, but it held paintings of beautiful scenery.
“Oh my…” she gasped, fingering each page. “I-I needed a new calendar.”
“Yeah, and anytime you get scared of the outdoors… or just need inspiration, you can look at these paintings, see?” Apollo attempted to explain.
“It’s wonderful,” Vera smiled. However, she suddenly looked crestfallen. “B-but, I didn’t get anything for you…”
“It’s fine!” he interrupted, automatically placing his hands on her shoulders in a comforting gesture. “I-I was just thinking of you, so…” Apollo found himself blushing as he realized what he’d done. He dropped his hands. “Sorry…” he mumbled.
Vera bit her tongue. Did I do something wrong…again?
she feared. Her heart had beat quicker at his swift touch, but it was a… pleasant feeling. She glanced at the calendar, unsure how to respond. Vera felt nervous around him; she didn’t want to upset him, but she didn’t know how to make him feel more comfortable; especially more comfortable being near her
“Apollo,” she began. Apollo’s wavering eyes looked straight at her. “I greatly appreciate the gift. But I don’t know why you’d want to give me one,” Vera asked with a sad look in her eyes. Why would he spend his money on someone like me?
He was at a lost for words for a moment.
“I felt bad that I left you here, and I wanted to get something to show that… well, that I’m not a complete jerk,” he explained laughing nervously.
Vera frowned deeper. He just felt bad…?
she thought sadly. Apollo was concerned, groaning as he realized he probably said something wrong.
“You didn’t have to get me something for that
,” Vera said softly. Apollo bit his lip and shook his head.
“It’s not just that. Y-you’re… special to me, Vera, and I wanted to get something nice for you,” Apollo tried again. Vera blinked in surprise.
“Like a ‘special someone’?” she asked innocently. He found himself suddenly taken aback.That was the word I was looking for,
he groaned. Corny and silly, but…
Apollo hid his annoyance with a smile.
“Y-yeah, that’s one way to think of it as…” he answered. Vera’s smile grew bigger.
Apollo was surprised to find Vera’s arms suddenly wrapped around his chest. He calmly placed his arms around her as well, shocked by her impulsiveness. He began to stroke her hair gently, releasing the pent up anxious sigh in his chest.
Vera was still smiling; this feeling of caring and protection was new, but also very pleasing.
It was a start, he supposed. And he was all right with going into a relationship slowly with a kind girl like Vera. One step at a time.