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This is another kinkmeme story, but ... it's long. LONG. And it's based off a prompt that I believe was intended to be a quick porn-off prompt, but oh well, I don't care. I'm enjoying writing a longfic, been awhile since I did that.

So here we have the first chapter of the story, which doesn't have anything to do with the prompt "Klavier bottoming to Apollo. Like, taking it up the wazoo. Even better if it's in a love hotel, where Klavier had actually intended to seduce the Forehead into a pile of goo. Seems his plan backfired. ;3" but it will eventually, I swear.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen


The Slow Ascent after the Sharpest Drop

Part I


by mistr3ss Quickly


The book Phoenix buys, the day after, says that the response to trauma will vary from person to person. It's divided neatly into chapters, some talking about the common progression of emotional healing, some talking about how family and friends can help out, some talking about warning signs of depression or buried anger. There's a checklist at the end of each chapter, photos interspersed throughout, showing people who have faced bad things and come through smiling.

Phoenix leafs through the book during the day, while his daughter is at school. Sits her down with a plate of Girl Scout cookies and a glass of grape juice and goes over the highlights of the book with her, answering her questions as best he can.

~*~*~*~

It's late in the afternoon, early in the evening, when they leave their flat and walk to the bus stop, waiting for the bus that will take them into the heart of the city. Trucy leans against her father while they wait, her usual chatter replaced with a sad sort of silence during the long bus-ride. Phoenix doesn't press the issue, doesn't ask her if she's all right. Squeezes her hand when she slips it into his, walking close as the step off the bus at their stop and make their way together into the hospital.

"I don't like it here," she says, waiting for the elevator. "They won't make Polly stay here too long, will they Papa?"

Phoenix lets go of his daughter's hand, wrapping his arm around her instead in a sideways hug. "Of course not," he says. "We read the book, so he can come home as soon as the doctors think his body's recovered enough for him to be safe, so far from the hospital."

Trucy sighs and puts her arms around Phoenix's waist, hugging him tightly until the elevator arrives. "Good," she says. "I bet he wants to come home, too."

~*~*~*~

The pamphlets the doctors gave Klavier to read, the day after, once it became obvious that convincing the man to leave was futile and an utter waste of time, say that the body's response to trauma will vary from person to person. Each pamphlet speaks of a specific type of trauma—all B's: burns, bruises, broken bones—but combined, they tell Klavier what he wants to know.

Each pamphlet has a checklist at the end. What to buy to soothe the constant, nagging pain. What to ask your doctor when you go in for check-ups. What to look out for, once you're home again, without a group of nurses coming to see you every hour.

Klavier reads through each enough times that the folds begin to feather from being open and closed too many times. Sets them down on the little table beside Apollo's bed, face down, so that the stack stays organized, alphabetically, by topic. Remnants of a small neurotic habit his brother instilled in him, which surfaces only when Klavier is very tired, or very stressed.

~*~*~*~

It's late in the afternoon, early in the evening, when the pair of nurses come to Apollo's room and throw Klavier out, giving him sympathetic smiles and a firm shove out the door as they explain to him in rapid English too clipped and practiced for his dazed mind to fully comprehend about patient privacy and why it's against the rules for them to let him stay, even when he so obviously wants to.

And so he waits, his shoulders sagging just beneath the name-plate identifying 107b as JUSTICE, APOLLO's room. Keeps his hands in his pockets and smiles at the pair walking down the corridor towards him, although he can tell without looking that the smile on his lips isn't reaching his eyes.

"Herr Wright, Fraulein Trucy," he says, by way of greeting.

"How is he?" says Phoenix, putting an arm around Trucy's shoulders and pulling her close.

Klavier shrugs and tells them what he knows. It's not the answer Wright is wanting, but it's all he'll get.

"We can go in and see him in a few minutes," he adds, and the hint of happiness that brings to Trucy's eyes is almost enough to warm his heart.

~*~*~*~

They tell Apollo that his visitors have to leave, ten minutes shy of nine o'clock.

Well. They tell Apollo's visitors, but Apollo can hear them just fine and they make the announcement in Apollo's room, so he figures it's fair to think that they're telling him, too. Trucy isn't happy about having to leave, Apollo can tell from the way she tightens her grip on his hand, the way her cheek moves against his shoulder, like her whole body's tensed up, but she doesn't object or whine or say anything, really.

She probably got a look from Mr. Wright, Apollo reasons. Probably knows better than to make a commotion in a hospital room, because that'll embarrass Mr. Wright, his pride in his daughter really the only thing he clings to, anymore. Or maybe they talked about it before, back at their flat. That visiting hours would end at nine and Apollo would be tired and want them to go, so they should.

That seems the most reasonable, really. The most like Mr. Wright's calm, quiet logic.

Even if it isn't true.

At five-'til-nine, Trucy stands up and leans over and gives Apollo the nicest hug Apollo's ever gotten, her cheek pressed against his ear, muffling whatever it is she says to him before letting go. Mr. Wright shakes his hand after Trucy's finished hugging him, promises that they'll come by again to visit tomorrow, and then there's quiet for their footsteps to echo in before the door clicks shut.

Almost nine o'clock. Klavier's hand touches Apollo's cheek, where there are no bandages.

"My dear Forehead," he says, softly, kissing the gauze wrapped around what is apparently his favorite part of Apollo's body.

Apollo catches him around the wrist and pulls. Gets Klavier's lips down to his own. Coaxes Klavier's tongue into his mouth, just briefly, just long enough.

"I wish I could take you home with me and kiss you all night long," Klavier murmurs to him, when the door clicks again, softer footsteps announcing a nurse in the room, probably to throw Klavier out.

"Me too," Apollo says, because it's true and it's worth it to actually say it, not just think it.

The nurse walks out with Klavier, soft-sole sneakers quiet behind the singer's favorite pair of motorcycle boots, and the click of the door, closing behind them, is loud enough that Apollo winces, chest aching as he leans back against his pillow, all alone.

~*~*~*~

Klavier's in the room when Apollo wakes, the next morning. The scent of his cologne is strong in the small room, the clink of his rings loud where he taps them against the armrest of the chair by the bed. He's slouching, breathing through his nose. Apollo can hear it, the familiar impatience of it. Like it was on nights when he'd allow the singer to take him home, back to Klavier's flat, but all they'd manage to do together would be falling asleep, usually clothed, on top of the bed covers.

"'Morning," he says, reaching for his lover.

Klavier's fingers meet his, curl around them. "Guten Morgen," he says, sitting up and leaning forward, lips pressed to the back of Apollo's middle finger. "How have you slept, my dear Forehead?"

Apollo would roll his eyes—maybe he does, although it hardly matters—but the chair squeaks and Klavier stands, kissing him on the lips, touching him where the hospital gown doesn't cover him, the curve where neck becomes shoulder. He's been sucking on an herbal lozenge, Apollo can taste it, covering the sour after-taste of a long night's sleep in his own mouth. Mint and menthol and something artificial that's meant to be honey-flavor, Klavier's tongue warm against his own.

"Good," Apollo tells him, belatedly, when the kiss needs to either lead to something more, or end, and ends because he's in a hospital bed, not the best place for a fuck. "What time is it?"

Klavier stops touching him, long enough to pull his cell phone from the pocket of his pants and check the time, but it's too long and he's still standing close, so Apollo reaches for him, feels the smooth cotton of Klavier's shirt, the warmth of skin and muscle underneath, shifting when Klavier startles, shaking when Klavier laughs.

"I am ticklish there," he scolds, tapping the back of Apollo's hand so gently that it's more of a caress than a smack. "You know this, ja?"

Apollo feels heat rising in his cheeks as his brain supplies him with the memory of Klavier squawking like a grandmother when grabbed about the waist, memory of how Klavier felt, spasming intimately around him as he laughed and squirmed and howled, bright and beautiful and sensual and—

Klavier's mouth is against his, then, kissing him hard, too hard for the throbbing ache that never seems to leave Apollo's skull these days, his phone dropping to the starched sheets of Apollo's bed, clicking softly as it bumps against the plastic IV tube connecting Apollo to the drip on the opposite side of the bed. Apollo opens his mouth and kisses back passively, letting Klavier take control until the ache is too much. Then he squirms and puts his hand on Klavier's chest, doesn't even have to push.

"Someone might walk in on us," he says, licking his lips.

"Ah. Indeed," says Klavier. He retrieves his phone, settles in the chair beside Apollo's bed, his hand resting on Apollo's belly. "It is nine twenty-three, by the way."

Apollo swallows, covers Klavier's hand with his own. "Thanks," he says.

~*~*~*~

At ten-thirty, Klavier leaves to prepare for his court appointment at noon, giving Apollo a goodbye kiss that delays him at least five minutes.

At eleven o'clock, a nurse comes in to change Apollo's bandages and put salve on the worst of his burns, all of which she does in silence.

By eleven-thirty, Apollo has dropped off to sleep, more out of boredom than out of any real need for sleep, his mouth open in a quiet snore.

~*~*~*~

Mr. Wright's in the room when Apollo wakes, that afternoon. The smell of must from the club where Mr. Wright plays poker is almost overpowering in the small room, the hush of his leg jouncing, crossed over its mate, oddly loud in the surrounding quiet. He's chewing on his lip, either that or chewing gum, although Apollo would bet on the lip before gum, as Mr. Wright's never permitted Trucy to chew gum when he's around.

"Apollo," he says, softly.

"Hi, Mr. Wright," Apollo says, pushing himself up and turning towards his visitor. "What time is it?"

The chair creaks, Mr. Wright moving, crossing his legs the other way. "Almost two o'clock," Mr. Wright says, maybe not checking first, like he knew Apollo would ask. "Did you sleep well?"

Two o'clock is one hour before another dose of pain medication, another application of salve to Apollo's burns. His body aches from sleeping so long on the hard mattress of his hospital bed, so different from the comforting sag of his own bed, the feather-bed feel of Klavier's monstrous king-size. The long burn running from forehead to shoulder is pulling; he must have slept funny, straining it.

"Yeah," he says, finally, reaching up to scratch his head. "You're, um. Here early."

Mr. Wright chuckles, the raspy sort of laugh he gives whenever Trucy asks too many questions about her father's years working in court with Demon Prosecutor Edgeworth. Not a real laugh, anyone with ears can tell that.

"Mr. Gavin called. He's been delayed at the courthouse, wanted me to come by and look in on you."

"Oh." A moment. Apollo reaches up to scratch right at the edge of the burn on the left side of his face, soothing an itch just under his cheekbone. "He didn't say anything to me about the case he was arguing today. Did he—"

Mr. Wright's hair scrubs against the hood of his sweatshirt when he shakes his head. "No," he says. "I'm not even sure the delay was related to the case. Just that he was delayed, and didn't want you to wake up alone."

Heat rises in Apollo's cheeks, stinging a little where he's scratched at his injuries.

"Gotcha," he says. "Thanks."

Mr. Wright doesn't say anything, to that. But Apollo's pretty sure he can hear the older man smiling.

~*~*~*~

At three o'clock, a nurse—male, this time—comes to Apollo's room and Mr. Wright leaves, explaining that he'll be back once he's picked Trucy up from school.

At three-thirty, he's back, Trucy coming in with him and hugging Apollo hard before launching into a long story about a mock trial at school, which she won.

"The other side didn't want me to participate," she says, "because of you and Papa and Mr. Gavin. They said I'd win too easily."

Apollo winces, which hurts. "Were they right?" he says.

His bed squeaks as Trucy moves, straightening indignantly, her voice higher than it was before. "Of course not," she says. "There's no such thing as an easy trial. The truth is harder to find than that."

Laughing hurts, too. Apollo does it anyway.

~*~*~*~

By nine o'clock, Klavier hasn't returned.

The same nurse comes in and speaks sternly to Mr. Wright, softening when Trucy argues that Papa and I are keeping him company! with the kind of sincerity Apollo suspects won her victory in the mock trial at school. She quiets when Mr. Wright tells her quietly but sternly that rules are rules. Answers him with yes, Papa, then turns and hugs Apollo, hard.

She's just released him, leapt down from the edge of Apollo's bed, when Mr. Wright's phone rings. Apollo startles a little at the sound, and the nurse sighs.

"It's me," Mr. Wright says. "Yes, we are. Myself and Trucy." Movement, his clothing rustling, shoes squeaking against the floor-tiles. "Not much change. Ah-ha."

Muffled talking on the phone. Trucy's hand finding Apollo's and squeezing like she's afraid.

Even though Trucy is, so far as Apollo knows, afraid of nothing.

"Yes, I'll tell them. Um. Might want to—what?" Muffled talking. "Oh, I see. All right, I'll tell him that, then." A small bark of laughter. "No, wouldn't dream of it. All right. 'Bye."

The phone snaps closed. Trucy's grip tightens.

"I'm sorry, but we need a few minutes with Mr. Justice," Mr. Wright says, probably to the nurse, who probably isn't happy to hear it. "That was his lawyer. Five minutes, please. Alone."

He says it softly. Firmly. Like he did, telling Trucy that it was time to leave, just a few minutes before.

Apollo wiggles his fingers out of Trucy's hand and puts his arm around her, hugs her sideways when she climbs back up onto the bed with him. The nurse leaves with a sigh and heavy footsteps, probably stomping. Mr. Wright is silent until she's gone.

Then there are four steps, Mr. Wright's hand on top of Trucy's head, petting her hair like he used to do whenever his temper was wearing thin, whenever something was worrying him.

"That was Mr. Gavin on the phone," he says, slowly, enunciating clearly. "He said he's sorry he can't make it, tonight, he's onto something that could help him in one of his cases. He'll come to see you tomorrow."

Against Apollo's side, Trucy tenses. Moves. Mr. Wright's hair scrubs against the hood of his sweatshirt. Twice.

"And he sends a long-distance goodnight kiss," Mr. Wright says, before Apollo has a chance to ask them what's going on. "He'll come by tomorrow to give you it in person."

"Eww," says Trucy.

Apollo ignores her, even though he's pretty sure his face has gone red, from the way it's prickling with heat. "You needed to talk to me alone, just to tell me that?" he says to Mr. Wright.

There's a pause, just a breath too long. Then Mr. Wright chuckles, the sound just a touch too stale.

"You're Mr. Gavin's courtroom rival," he says. "I thought a touch of discretion might be appreciated."

He's not lying, but neither is he telling Apollo the whole truth.

Apollo gives his sister a hug and thanks Mr. Wright for being considerate, then lies back against his pillow and replays the last ten minutes over and over, until frustration lulls him to sleep.



Next >>





Posted in part here and in part here. :D



 
 
 
 
 
 
it's so nice to see apollo's whole 'family' come and take care of him- but it's driving me crazy trying to figure out what happened to poor polly.

aside from the whole.. missing sense thing, which also cries out for explanation. oh well, guess i just get to wait until you post moar. v_V
Haha, wow, for a notorious fluffer, I'd not really noticed that his "family" was there tending to him. It's more a competition between Klavier and Phoenix for who gets to take care of him, but that doesn't really show up 'til part ii.

Thanks for reading, hon. Explanations coming eventually, I promise!

~m
Okay, I've now read the frist part, and I have a tab open just waiting with the second part, but.... wow, this is intense.

What happened to Apollo? And don't think I didn't notice that he isn't noticing anything by sight, it's all sounds that are mentioned. Along with a desire to know what time it is, which indicates that he can't just look at a clock for himself. *sigh* You are a mastermind! I'm dying to find out!!

Also, the emotion from Trucy is great, it really helps ramp up the tension. And now I'm so very curious as to what Klavier is doing and why Phoenix had to hide part of it. *gives you a look* Well, I'm off to the second part to find a few answers (hopefully)!

PS: It's shaping up to be a captivating, detailed and very addictive longfic, if the rest is like this first part. *smile*
Whee! I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't answer any of your comments until part four was written and posted, which it is now, so here I am! :D

*Grins* It seems to me that, if everyone in the story already knows what happened, they'd be unlikely to talk about it openly, ja? So I'm going to be evil and not spell it out. Until, um. Yeah. There'll be a time for that. I thought it'd happen in chapter three. Maybe it'll show up in chapter five? *evil laughter*

I'm so glad you're getting sucked in by the story, hon. Absolutely thrills me. *hugs*

~m
Girl scout cookies make it easier to swallow bad news. Right? Well only if it's decent and chocolate in some form. *grins* And I don't know about the hospital not being the best place for a fuck... unless you find a convenient cupboard somewhere.
Poor Phoenix, he was just trying to make it easier on his little girl. Apollo's her older brother, you know, so ... yeah. And I don't think the hospital's a very good place to fuck. Not if you're hurt badly enough to need to be there. XD

Thanks for reading, hon!