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Fanfic / Dirty Sympathy

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Dirty Sympathy is a What If? alternate retelling of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. The premise: Apollo Justice is a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder, Daryan never killed anyone, and Kristoph never killed Shadi Enigmar. They were framed by a desperate Klavier and Apollo.

The story begins with Apollo visiting a pharmacy to get medicine to treat his wounds after Kristoph threw a cup of tea at him for trying to drink while working. Another customer spots his injuries and offers to help Apollo to treat his wounds at the man's hotel room. Seeing how the other man is injured and Apollo has no one else to turn to, he agrees despite the man's resemblance to his boss.

The other man is revealed to be Klavier, who is stuck in a similar situation with his bandmate and boyfriend Daryan. After treating each other's wounds and realizing they're both trapped without any options, decide to lend each other a hand.

A cleaned-up version in progress available here

This work provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Since the fic was written a year before Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies and the reveal of Clay Terran, this Apollo is depicted as having no friends prior to joining the Wright Anything Agency.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Daryan is a Domestic Abuser along with his canon aspect of being a Dirty Cop, Kristoph is an abusive Bad Boss along with being a poisoner. Machi is emphasized as an unrepentant smuggler who while loving Lamiroir, takes advantage of her and he gave LeTouse a fatal pistol wound. Lamiroir is a cold-blooded Mama Bear, who thought nothing of framing someone and threatening someone with death to protect Machi.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Klavier likes calling Apollo "schatzelein" and other German endearments. Although he shoots down the only time Apollo tries to return the favor.
  • Agony of the Feet: When Klavier grabs Machi by the wrist, Machi tries to stomp on Klavier's feet, but it doesn't work because Klavier is wearing motorcycle boots and ends up hurting his own feet.
  • All Gays Love Theater: Discussed with Phoenix after he finds Apollo humming to The Threepenny Opera.
  • All Just a Dream/Dying Dream: Discussed after Edgeworth makes Klavier and Apollo his apprentices instead of turning them over to the police. Apollo openly wonders if he's imagining everything and is actually dying of his head injury when Kristoph threw a cup of tea at his head or whether Klavier actually exists. Klavier, horrified by such morbid thinking, is quick to reassure him.
  • All Take and No Give: Variant two, with Kristoph as the Giver and Apollo as the Taker. Kristoph controls every aspect of Apollo's life as he provides the latter with employment and transportation, pays his rent and drives the latter around, but Apollo is completely dependent on him and has no one else to turn to when Kristoph physically abuses him.
  • Alternate Universe Fic
  • Alone with the Psycho: When Kristoph visits Apollo at his apartment, he doesn't enter the home but he does establish his dominance by nearly opening the front door and kicking it to let Apollo know that he knows he's there.
  • Amoral Attorney: Klavier and Apollo are this, half the time. While they do their part to find the truth and get the people actually guilty put away, they framed Daryan and Kristoph for crimes they didn't commit and manipulated the evidence, witnesses, and defendants.
  • And Then What?: Edgeworth asks Phoenix what he's going to do if he sends Klavier and Apollo to prison. What would Phoenix would do for the people they helped or the people they sent to jail.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Klavier gives one to Apollo before leaving because he was triggered by Apollo's post-coital talk after Kristoph's arrest.
    Apollo: If I'm not a one-night stand then stop fucking treating me like one!
    Klavier: For a one-night stand, I would not have gone to the Borscht Bowl Club.
  • The Apprentice: After Edgeworth decides not to turn Klavier and Apollo in, he offers them the opportunity to become his apprentices if they want to continue practicing law and to make up for what they have done.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Phoenix is trying to reassure Apollo that the public wouldn't think badly about Klavier and Apollo's role in the Vera Misham case:
    Phoenix: The public loves you both already, you know.
    Apollo: Like they used to feel about you and Miles Edgeworth.
    • Trucy gives one to Apollo to call him out on his treatment of Vera:
    It's different! You ignored Wocky because of the dumb stuff he said and that was fine. You're ignoring Vera because she's easy to ignore. And you of all people should know what that's like -
  • Ascended Extra: Plum Kitaki, who starts assisting in Klavier and Apollo's plan with advice, transportation, weapons and escape out of the country.
  • Asshole Victim: Shadi Enigmar, who sexually harasses Olga Orly and later beats her for somehow not spotting Phoenix cheating at cards.
    • Daryan and Kristoph are a variant. While they’re innocent of the murders they were framed for, both of them are so despicable that there’s not a trace of sympathy for either of them.
  • Atonement Detective: Klavier and Apollo become this when they take Edgeworth's offer of apprenticeship to atone for their crimes.
  • Bad Boss: Kristoph abuses Apollo physically, emotionally, and sexually, controls every aspect of Apollo's life, and hired him because he had nowhere and no one else to turn.
  • Batman Gambit: Klavier and Apollo take advantage of Kristoph's desire to exploit people's weakness by deliberately dressing themselves to look vulnerable. They knew he would try to attack their weakness so this and his actual crimes would lose him the sympathy of the jury.
    • Apollo tries to get Machi to implicate Daryan by convincing him that Daryan would help with his smuggling, it goes up in flames when Machi tries to cut a deal with Daryan and then steals Apollo's gun.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Apollo manages to bluff his way into Klavier's hospital room by flashing his attorney badge and carrying manila files; saying that the law office sent him to have Klavier sign off some paperwork.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Klavier has the position of telling his bandmates the bad news after Daryan is convicted. Their reactions vary. One cusses him out and despises him for betraying their friend. The other worries about their contract and how their label will react. The last one takes the revelation well and apologizes to Klavier for not realizing something was wrong.
  • Beneath Notice: Klavier's act of giving Trucy backstage passes and low-priced tickets is his way of making sure Apollo escaped Daryan's notice to get him to the concert with the excuse of accompanying Trucy.
  • The Bet: The Prosecution Office bets when Klavier will quit after the Vera Misham case.
  • Better as Friends: It's implied that Edgeworth and Phoenix did have romantic feelings for each other but never went further than that because they both saw that eventually the price for the other's affections would one day get too high.
  • Big Brother Bully: Kristoph was one to Klavier, so there is no love lost when Klavier frames him.
  • Big Good: Edgeworth, who makes sense of the whole plot and decides what to do with Apollo and Klavier
  • Bittersweet Ending: Klavier and Apollo can never return to the U.S. without being sent to jail by Phoenix, and both of them lost their careers. Apollo and Trucy will never find out they're blood-related and will never see each other again. Phoenix's plan to restore the Jurist system might be for naught as Kristoph's rightful conviction is dependent on a crime he didn't commit. Edgeworth decides not to rekindle his relationship with Phoenix, seeing the price for it too high and will lead to inevitable disappointment. But Klavier and Apollo are free of the tormentors and are given a second chance at life. Klavier and Apollo are happily in love with each other and won't be sent to prison. Phoenix gets his reputation back and can start using his connections to start doing major good, and Edgeworth gains two apprentices to help him
  • Black-and-Gray Morality/Gray-and-Grey Morality: Apollo and Klavier are sympathetic but will go to any length necessary to free each other from their abusers. Klavier frames his brother for a murder he assisted in committing, and would have killed Phoenix Wright if Shadi Enigmar hadn't tried beating Olga Orly. Apollo tries to manipulate Machi into implicating Daryan, but manages to cover up Machi's murder of Romain LeTouse and pin the blame on Daryan. But Daryan is a Dirty Cop who has the police force in his back pocket, and Kristoph is an Amoral Attorney and a Bad Boss with many connections who both threaten them with death and can get away with their murders.
  • Body Motifs: The story has a continuing focus on the throat and neck. The story opens with Apollo trying to find medicine to treat his neck injury, courtesy of Kristoph, and it's what attracts Klavier's attention to him in the first place. Klavier is nearly strangled to death with chains wrapped around his throat. When Apollo feels immense guilt, he describes it as a pressure on his throat.
  • Break Them by Talking: Winston Payne does this to Klavier with glee, detailing how and why Klavier will leave the prosecution office, pointing out that they lose more prosecutors to the corrections system than retirement.
  • Breather Episode: The Obon Festival Arc that's in between Machi's trial and the Vera Misham case. Klavier and Apollo hang out at Klavier's new apartment, eating takeout and spend time at the Obon Festival together. Which is lampshaded by Klavier with this line:
    Klavier: Boring is so good.
  • Buffy Speak: When Wocky is trying to comfort Apollo by comparing a fight and an attack on a friend..
    And man, a fight is one thing. This is fucked up. Sick. Some asshole thinks he's Edgar - the raven guy.
  • But Not Too Bi: Klavier is mentioned to sleep with groupies often enough that he can use them as a legitimate excuse but seems to be romantically inclined towards men seeing how both his love interests are male. Daryan specifically notes that he hasn't actually slept with a woman within the story.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Apollo thinks what would have happened if he were the one to have spotted Klavier instead of the other way around. He admits to himself that he would have probably ignored Klavier and is grateful that Klavier decided to be a Good Samaritan.
  • Cain and Abel: Kristoph as the Cain and Klavier as the Abel. Noted while Kristoph hasn't done anything to physically harm his younger brother, they both despise each other. Klavier describes his brother as the type who would listen to you talk about your favorite thing so he would know its your favorite when he's (Kristoph) angry at you. Klavier left his brother the first chance he got. More chilling in that Klavier says he would have been in Apollo's place if he hadn't left the first chance he got. More interesting is that the Abel struck at the Cain first.
  • Call-Back: In the Borsch Bowl when he's trying to hide from Kristoph, Klavier reminisces on learning to despise Kristoph's squeaky shoes when he was a child as it would signal his brother's arrival. Later, he wakes after falling asleep in Vera's hospital room when he hears Apollo's shoes sqeak on the linoleum.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Discussed after Edgeworth tells them he can't let them get away with their crimes, but can't not acknowledge the circumstances that drove them to their crimes.
    Klavier: There is no making the police officers look ruthless. And no getting away with it and setting a bad example for the impressionable boys and girls.
  • Captain Obvious: Klavier's summary of Apollo's situation with Kristoph.
    Klavier: So without him (Kristoph) you have no job, no employment history, no home, and no car. This is bad.
    Apollo: Thanks very fucking much, Watson, I noticed that!
  • Cassandra Truth: When Daryan asserts that he's innocent and that he was framed after his conviction, no one believes him.
  • Chained by Fashion: One of the Gavinners' concert acts required Klavier to be wrapped in chains.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Klavier nearly distracts Trucy by getting her to tell them why did she wake so early to get donuts before she realizes that he's trying to change the subject so she wouldn't ask why Apollo was about to kiss him.
  • Character Development: Apollo initially refuses to leave his job and Kristoph despite the danger to his own life because he would lose the one dream he had left and the life he knows and would be forced to start over. This turns Klavier's desire to help Apollo into a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder. When the truth is nearly exposed after their success at the Vera Misham trial, Apollo willingly abandons his career and leaves California for good, and tries to take the blame for their plot in order to protect Klavier.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Apollo's first aid kit is mentioned in the beginning of the story when Apollo has to go the pharmacy to pick up burn cream and bandages because he didn't have them in his kit and uses it to treat Klavier's injuries. Then later, he uses to treat Trucy's fireworks burn to the surprise of Phoenix, who's surprised that he's so well prepared. When Phoenix and Edgeworth try to piece together why Klavier and Apollo left, they find the first aid kit in Apollo's room which Edgeworth uses to confirm Apollo's story.
    • Klavier's ring. Klavier accidentally left it behind after sleeping with Apollo, telling Daryan that he lost it after sleeping with a groupie. Apollo tries to return it after he reunites with Klavier, but Klavier lets him keep it because it would be suspicious for him to get it back. When Phoenix finds it in Apollo's room after Apollo suddenly leaves, it's a sign to him that Apollo and Klavier were a lot more serious than he thought.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Apollo's humming of The Threepenny Opera early in the story, Phoenix comments on it surprised that the non-musically inclined Apollo would know it. When Phoenix hears Klavier's cover of the same song, it leads him ask to a question that completely blows everything open.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Trucy is watching the news in the background when the entertainment segment starts ten minutes early with breaking news of Klavier's "stage accident", telling Apollo that Klavier was nearly killed. Justified in that a rock star's near-deathly accident would make a headliner.
  • Commonality Connection: Klavier and Apollo become drawn to each other when they reveal that they're both abuse victims in situations they can't escape from.
  • Cooldown Hug: Apollo receives one when he starts to have a panic attack at the possible consequences of pressing charges against Kristoph.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Whereas in canon it was played straight, Apollo writes LeTouse's Interpol ID number with a glove on the floor to fake evidence.
  • Continuity Nod: Phoenix knows about The Threepenny Opera because he studied theatre when he used to be an art major.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Not just Apollo, but Klavier's parents died in a car accident.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: The police guard makes Trucy turn around and cover her ears when he tells Apollo what he thinks will be Daryan's fate in prison.
    A dirty cop pretty boy with a famous face? Your shark is about to be tunafish.
  • Cuddle Bug: Klavier turns out to be very physically affectionate with Apollo.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Klavier fled his home at age 15 to flee from his brother, only to end up in an abusive relationship with Daryan a year later.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Daryan uses a plate with Klavier's face on it as an ashtray.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Apollo disposes of his gun and the bullets from LeTouse's murder in the sewer to hide that Machi killed him and to implicate Daryan.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Apollo gets thristy and gets a cup of hot tea to drink at his desk when he was working late. In response, Kristoph dumps the tea on Apollo and smashes the cup on his neck.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Played for Drama, as the audience didn't notice that Klavier was being strangled by his chains because they thought it was sexy.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The core of the fanfic.
  • Domestic Abuse: Daryan monitors Klavier's cell phone to keep track of who he contacts, casually and constantly threatens Klavier with death, and does things like tear out his earrings and cut off his pinky toe.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Machi is horrified at the thought of Lamirior finding out about his crimes.
  • Dramatic Irony: Phoenix compliments Apollo that he and Klavier are very good at keeping their feelings out of cases seeing how they sent their mentor and bandmate to prison, regardless of personal feelings.
    • Daryan expects Klavier to get him off the murder charges, not expecting that Klavier fully intends to throw him under the bus.
  • The Dreaded: Kristoph, most of the cast live in fear of him.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Klavier only knows Apollo for a couple of hours before he decides to try to save Apollo from his brother. This is for two reasons; one, because Klavier feels that he owes Apollo since he would have been in his place if he hadn't left his brother the first chance he got. Second, Klavier is also stuck in a hopeless situation with Daryan and projects his own need to be rescued onto Apollo.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe example as a radio host jokes about Klavier's near strangulation by saying that he should suck on some ice cubes because he still has another concert to perform. Wocky and Apollo are horrified at the host's insensitivity and crassness.
  • Dying Alone: Kristoph implies this will be Apollo's fate as he doesn't have any family nor friends that would miss him when Kristoph decides to get rid of him.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While they lost their careers and can never go back to the U.S., Klavier and Apollo can restart their lives and remain together.
  • Entitled Bastard: Daryan fully expects for Klavier to get the murder charge off despite his treatment of the latter, this works for Klavier's advantage as he doesn't figure out that Klavier threw him under the bus.
  • Everyone Can See It: Most of the cast can see that Klavier and Apollo have the hots for each other and either encourage or mock them for it, although unusually for this trope they already are together.
  • External Retcon: The plot of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is a mess of Gambit Pileups.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Machi is an unrepentant smuggler with the face of a porcelain doll, which is lampshaded by Apollo who expected him to look like a rat based on a description of his crimes and personality.
  • False Reassurance: Kristoph tells Phoenix at the Borscht Bowl that he fears that Apollo might disappear on him.
  • Fan Disservice: Normally a shirtless Klavier Gavin would be a treat, but not when his chest is covered with bite marks and scars from sexual abuse.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Klavier nearly dies in his concert when Daryan tangles his chains with the moving platform's winch, causing the chains to tighten around his neck and asphyxiate him.
  • Festival Episode: In between cases 4-3 and 4-4, there is a Breather Episode of Apollo, Klavier, Trucy and Phoenix going to an Obon Festival run by the Kitakis.
  • Foreshadowing: Klavier tells Apollo that Daryan has a limit to his abuse: he doesn't hurt Klavier's face, hands or his throat because he needs those for show business. Later, Daryan tries to kill Klavier by causing a set malfunction that would have strangled him to death during a concert.
    • After sleeping with Apollo, Klavier notes that he's comforted by the smell of Apollo's cheap violet cologne. Before Daryan attempts to have Klavier killed in a stage malfunction, Daryan tells him that the smell of the cologne on Klavier is what tipped Daryan off that Klavier was cheating on him.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Apollo was a delinquent and had committed a car-jacking when he was 14. This haunts Apollo because no law firm will hire someone with a criminal record.
  • Frame-Up: Klavier frames his brother for killing Shadi Enigmar by disguising himself as Kristoph and helping Olga Orly kill Shadi in self-defense. Apollo pressures Olga to say she didn't see anything.
    • Which is the tip of the iceberg, as Apollo then successfully pins Machi's murder of Romein LeTouse on Daryan
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Klavier and Apollo play the Framing A Known Guilty Party variant, as Klavier and Apollo frame Kristoph and Daryan for murders they didn't commit.
  • Friendless Background: When Vera is hospitalized for poisoning Apollo, Klavier and Trucy are the only people that visit her because her only family is dead and she was a Hikikomori.
    Trucy: It's not like she has any friends besides us!
    Apollo (thinking): You mean she has any friends including us.
  • Gambit Pileup: There's Klavier and Apollo's plan of framing Daryan and Kristoph, Phoenix's plan of proving Kristoph guilty of the forgeries and the murder of Drew Misham and reforming the jury system and Kristoph's plan of poisoning Vera Misham and getting away with both Misham's murder. It goes bad for everyone involved.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Apollo helps Klavier calm down after the latter starts freaking out in guilt over having to kill a man.
  • Goldfish Scooping Game: Trucy convinces Apollo to try to win a bear for her from one when they visit the Obon Festival. Apollo tries recruiting Klavier into helping him, but he doesn't know how to do it either so he decides to fund it.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Daryan is perfectly fine with Klavier sleeping around with female groupies, he does it as well. But God help him if Klavier is romantically involved with someone else.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: It's noted that while Trucy is silly most of the time, she is very perceptive and very good at reading in between the lines. Exemplified when she calls out Apollo for being angry at Phoenix being secretive when she knows that Apollo and Klavier got together before Daryan's convinction when Klavier was supposedly with Daryan.
  • Good Samaritan: When they first meet Klavier helps Apollo dress his wounds at his hotel room despite being total strangers.
  • Got Volunteered: Apollo and Klavier try to everything possible to not get assigned to the Vera Misham case as the defense and prosecution only to foiled by Phoenix, as head of committee, volunteered them thinking they are perfect for the job.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The source of Klavier's problems with Daryan. Originally Daryan was the lead singer and Klavier was the guitarist in the band until their label made them switch. Which their label made permanent because Klavier had better vocal range and had better stage presence. Daryan did not take being replaced all that well and his jealousy grew into abuse when the Gavinners got famous.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: After framing Kristoph, Klavier sneaks out of the Borscht Bowl wearing Olga Orly's coat and hat.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: In the story's opening Klavier buys himself rocky road ice cream and marshmallows at the Rite-Aid where he meets Apollo after a bad night.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Apollo jokes about his clumsiness and his height when confronted with Kristoph.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Daryan never figures out that the man Klavier invited to their concert, the same man who is accusing him of a murder he didn't commit, is the one that Klavier is cheating on him for and was the one that framed him.
  • High Turnover Rate: The Prosecution Office realizes that they tend to lose their prosecutors quite often, mostly to the corrections system with the occasional retirement and transfer.
  • Hope Spot: Kristoph gave Apollo an apartment and a job after he was kicked out of his college dorm and no law firm hired him after his graduation. Apollo thought his luck was finally turning around. Then Kristoph slammed Apollo's head against a car door after a case doesn't go his way...
  • Hug and Comment: In a non-comedic variant when Apollo's holding Klavier to sleep:
    Klavier: You're...very romantic. I didn't notice before.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Apollo thinks its funny that Kristoph would insult Klavier when he is mentioned by remarking on his pretty boy nature and probable sexual misconduct given that Kristoph gets manicures and his sex life consists of him sodomizing his apprentice.
    • A lighter variant when Phoenix says after hearing Apollo hum The Threepenny Opera: "I know you don't like pop, given how snippy you get about Trucy's radio, but this really makes me wonder about you." It is later found out that he used to have a relationship with Edgeworth.
  • Idealized Sex: Klavier and Apollo's sex scene is not explicit but described in very glowing terms.
  • I Owe You My Life: Plum Kitaki offers Klavier and Apollo her resources after they prevented Wocky from going to prison.
  • I Remember Because...: Klavier gets Apollo to remember LeTouse's ID number and phone number by making it into a song.
  • I Should Have Done This Years Ago: Klavier jokingly apologizes to Apollo for not pushing his brother off the Swiss Alp when he was nine.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Klavier got this as an answer when he asked Daryan why didn't they break up if he hates him so much.
  • Imagine Spot: Klavier with his Looney Tune choices, Apollo with his multiple choice answers and paper-bag theater.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: Klavier disguises himself as Kristoph at the Borscht Bowl in order to frame him.
  • Implied Death Threat:
    Kristoph: Given enough time and drain cleaner, couldn't I just...rinse you away? I'd have to keep paying your rent, but then, that's nothing new.
  • Internal Reveal: Edgeworth makes Apollo and Klavier fess up to what they did so he can decide what to do with them. Hilariously, it's also one to each other because they didn't know exactly what the other did.
  • Irony: Lamiroir threatens Apollo for Machi's sake. Lamiroir, Apollo's biological mother, threatens the biological son she abandoned for the son she emotionally adopted.
  • Ironic Echo: Klavier tries to get Apollo to leave Kristoph through legal means, reminding Apollo that Kristoph is dangerous and that Apollo won't have much time left, and Apollo refuses. After Kristoph is sent to jail after Klavier successfully frames him, he says that Apollo deserved a better rescuer and refuses his gratitude. Apollo rebukes him reminding him that Klavier warned him about Kristoph and that he(Apollo) didn't have time left.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Klavier left Apollo after sleeping with him, in fear of Daryan finding out and hurting Apollo right after Kristoph is sent to prison.
    • Apollo tries to break up with Klavier after the Vera Misham case, worried that people might put two and two together and find out what they did. Klavier refuses and he comes up with a better plan.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Winston Payne was an asshole because he openly admitted he planned to reject Apollo from the start after giving him an interview. He did have a point that Apollo needed an excuse for why he's in the Prosecutor Office when he was looking for Klavier. Which is lampshaded:
    Apollo: Sir, honestly - fuck you. And thank you.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Daryan is a jerk who constantly beats and makes death threats to his lover, but for once he stopped being abusive, toned down his Hair-Trigger Temper and helped Klavier get ready for a stage act. Only to reveal that he found out that Klavier is cheating on him and Daryan has him nearly strangled to death.
  • Justified Criminal: Klavier and Apollo turn to crime so they wouldn't be murdered.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Normally, framing someone for a crime that they didn't do would be despicable, but since they were going to murder someone and had already committed severe abuse, it's their just desserts.
  • Kimono Fanservice: Klavier wears a yukata to the Obon Festival.
  • Kirk Summation: When Apollo is trying to refuse to be Vera Misham's lawyer, Phoenix gives him one:
    You know, after Kristoph's trial this spring, I thought I was hiring a kid who wanted to make a difference in the world. What did I get instead?
  • Kink Meme: The fic's origins.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Apollo and Klavier framed others of crimes they didn't commit, were accessories to murder, and were having an affair while Klavier was (techinically) committed to Daryan. They are forced to abandon their careers and leave behind everything they know when Phoenix unintentionally exposes their plot.
    • Phoenix lied and manipulated his apprentice in order to reach his goal. He finds out that Apollo had also been manipulating him and his hated frenemy, Kristoph turns out be innocent of the crime that landed him in jail.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Discussed by Klavier and immediately defied by Edgeworth, who is disgusted by the idea that he would make them commit suicide
    Klavier: What sorts of movies do you watch, Herr Edgeworth? In the movie - we die. Very obligingly. There is no making the police officers look inhumane. And no getting away with it and setting a bad example for the impressionable boys and girls.
  • Leonine Contract: Apollo accepts Kristoph's offer of employment and housing despite his misgivings because no one would hire him and he was going to be kicked out of his dorm.
  • Living Lie Detector: Apollo, of course. He lets Klavier touch his bracelet to let him know that Apollo is not lying to him.
  • Lipstick Mark: A variant, in that Daryan deduces that Klavier has been cheating on him when the latter smells like Apollo's drugstore cologne. He does mention this trope, hating Klavier for reducing him "into a housewife looking for lipstick on her husband's collar."
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Apollo becomes one to Klavier to the point that he has legitimate fears that Klavier would commit suicide if he thinks he's dead.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Trucy never finds out what Klavier and Apollo did, why they suddenly left or Phoenix's own plans. She, along with Apollo, never finds out that she and Apollo are siblings because Phoenix feels it would be too cruel to tell them the truth since they will never see each other again.
  • Lonely at the Top: Klavier lampshades his status as this as he has no friends besides Apollo.
  • Long List: Edgeworth lists their collective crimes as getting two people innocent of their supposed crimes jailed, letting the murderers responsible off, unlawful surveillance, breaking and entering, arson, possession of an unlicensed gun and etc.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Klavier and Apollo's crimes are motivated by their desire to protect each other.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Daryan causes a stage accident for Klavier. See Fatal Method Acting.
    • Kristoph killed his friend in a car accident out of curiosity.
  • Mama Bear: Lamiroir's first thought when Machi kills LeTouse is to attempt to frame Klavier for it and she threatens Apollo with a gun to get the murder charge off or else.
  • Meal Ticket: Kristoph was Apollo's meal ticket as he hired Apollo despite his criminal record, paid for his rent and drove him around.
  • Mean Boss: Kristoph constantly belittles Apollo while the latter works and casually reminds him that he practically owns him.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Klavier's ring.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Daryan threatens to kill Klavier's lover when he finds out that Klavier cheated on him. So when Klavier finds out someone was shot and killed at his Los Angeles concert, he thinks that Daryan found out about Apollo and was successful at his threat.
  • Never Heard That One Before: When Klavier and Apollo introduce themselves to each other, they both tell one of the many jokes they have gotten due to their names. Apollo jokes that he should have be better looking in order to have named Apollo. Klavier jokes that he's grateful that his parents named him in their living room and not their kitchen (since "Klavier" means "piano" in German).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Phoenix forcibly getting Apollo and Klavier involved as the defense attorney and prosecutor of case 4-4 sets up their downfall.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Lamirior attempts to frame Klavier when Machi kills LeTouse when they already had a deal to get Machi arrested during the concert by putting a cocoon in Klavier's guitar and setting it on fire so he would get arrested in the U.S. as opposed to executed in Borgnia.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Klavier plays up his goofball Eurotrash persona to either get people to put their guard down around him or in the case of Apollo to put him at ease or to cheer him up.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Apollo feels strongly guilty when Phoenix praises him and Klavier for sending Kristoph and Daryan to jail despite their close relationship.
  • Oh, Crap!: Many moments such as when Kristoph gets suspicious how organized Apollo's bandages where.
    • Klavier has one when he spots Kristoph in Apollo's apartment.
    • When Daryan reveals to Klavier that he knows the latter is cheating on him, reminding him of when he came home after supposedly celebrating his brother's incarceration all night smelling like cheap violet cologne.
    If this is going to be a fight, princess, you know who wins. You like taking risks?
  • Only Sane Man: Edgeworth. To quote a reviewer, he's the only one not involved in this mess and can view them objectively.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Klavier starts to freak out when Daryan stops being physically abusive to him and is actually nice for once.
    • Daryan realizes something is up when Klavier has not slept with any women.
  • Older Than They Look: The bane of Apollo's existance is that he looks younger than his actual age. In law school he was recommended to exploit it to get people off guard and think he's more vulnerable than he really is.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Apollo ends up poking Klavier's emotional weak points by generally lacking tact sometimes.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Klavier has nightmares of Shadi's murder in the Borscht Bowl basement and hears the sound of him dying in his dreams, losing him nights of sleep.
  • Pity Sex: Klavier tells Apollo that he rather risk dying at Apollo's hands than Daryan's when Apollo questions why he trusts him despite being total strangers, Apollo feels so sorry for him that he kisses him.
  • Police Are Useless: The police would either makes things worse, are in their abuser's pocket, or, like Winston Payne, just don't care
  • Poor Communication Kills: Machi tries to tell Klavier about the shooting, tells the the person shot is dead and that he shouldn't worry about the guy since Klavier barely knew him. Klavier thought that Apollo was shot by Daryan, ends up thinking that Apollo is dead and that Machi is mocking him over the fact he only knew Apollo for a few months.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: When Klavier and Apollo flee the country, Klavier prays to God to keep Apollo safe.
  • Precision F-Strike: Several.
  • Product Placement: Klavier and Apollo meet in a Rite-Aid, Klavier gets a phone from Verizon Wireless. It's to add realism and to remind the viewer that the fic is supposed to take place in California.
  • Prompt Fic: The original prompt opening: Strangers on a Train, judicial style.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Klavier is very good at these and can use them to get Apollo to do what he wants.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Phoenix gets Kristoph imprisoned, finally proven his innocence with the forged evidence and proven the effectiveness of the jury system...but he loses his apprentice and the most honest attorney he knew, finds out that they committed a multitude of crimes, lives with the knowledge that his success was based on a crime Kristoph was innocent of, and might have to start his crusade over.
  • Rape as Backstory: Apollo has been sodomized by Kristoph in the past and Klavier had been forced into sex with Daryan.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: Klavier's sex with Daryan is not always with his consent and thankfully not explicit.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Edgeworth recruits Klavier and Apollo as his apprentices because they both have extremely good teamwork and a great understanding of the law.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Klavier and Apollo upgrade from acquaintances and accomplices in a "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder to lovers after Kristoph is imprisoned and Apollo decides he will take care of Daryan.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Apollo's Perceive ability also means that he has a good eye for spotting small details which is helpful when he tampers with LeTouse's corpse by covering up the wounds that killed him by taking out the bullets and using a bigger gun to make it look like he was killed with a bigger caliber gun.
  • Rescue Romance: Apollo starts to return Klavier's feelings for him after he frees him from Kristoph.
  • Rescue Sex: Apollo and Klavier have sex after Kristoph is sent to jail and Apollo is free from him.
  • The Resenter: Daryan seriously hates Klavier and is not afraid to show it
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Klavier tries to become the prosecutor of case 4-1 the Chief Prosecutor denies his request, stating that his pushiness and his personal stake in case makes Klavier the very last person he would give the case to. The Chief Prosecutor cited his connection to the Phoenix Wright as the reason, when Klavier wanted to make Kristoph the major suspect. Which is lampshaded by Apollo:
    Apollo: You sound all indignant about that. But your boss did the wrong math and got the right answer anyway.
  • Run for the Border: After Phoenix realizes that something is up, Klavier and Apollo flee the country. Justified that many countries ended their extradition treaties with the U.S. after the Seventh Amendment was repealed.
  • Sadistic Choice: If Apollo leaves Kristoph, he will be forced to start over from scratch and doom someone else to his position. If he doesn't leave, he will die. Same with Klavier.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The reason why Klavier and Apollo can't run away from their relationships. Daryan is a Dirty Cop who has police connections who inform him if Klavier tries to run or get help. Apollo has no connections, seeing how his criminal record prevents any law firm beside Kristoph's from hiring him and he has no one else.
  • Secret-Keeper: When Trucy finds out about their relationship, Apollo and Klavier make her keep it a secret under the promise that they would come out around Christmas.
  • Secret Relationship: Klavier and Apollo keep their relationship under wraps because at first Daryan would have killed Klavier for infidelity and secondly to keep people from looking too closely at their actions.
  • Seen It All: Winston Payne, he didn't get to stay in the Prosecution Office for nothing...
  • Serial Romeo: Klavier has a habit of falling in love with people he randomly meets and sometimes never sees again, although unlike other Serial Romeos he prefers to keep his feelings a secret and one-sided. He usually uses his crushes for song inspiration. Then he falls in love with Apollo...
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: The sex scenes are never described in detail, which is ironic since it originated on a kink meme.
  • Sex Equals Love: Klavier and Apollo begin a romantic relationship soon after they have sex together.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Kristoph warns Apollo that if he's not at work on time, since no one knows where he's supposed to be, no one would notice if he goes missing
  • Sherlock Scan: Daryan deduces that Klavier had sex by looking at him.
    Daryan: Your boots aren't tied right. You didn't answer my calls. You actually had me worried about you for a little while there, sweetheart. But you were just fine, weren't you?
  • Shipper on Deck: Plum Kitaki quickly realizes that Klavier and Apollo are a couple and likes to tease them about their relationship.
  • Shout-Out: To Looney Tunes and Agatha Christie.
    • Apollo calls Edgeworth Mycroft to describe what Edgeworth does in Europe
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Apollo gives a mental one to Phoenix after he asks, "You know, after Kristoph's trial this spring, I thought I was hiring a kid who wanted to make a difference in the world. What did I get instead?"
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: A large part of Klavier's attraction to Apollo that's not wrapped in The Dulcinea Effect and his initial Serial Romeo affection is that Apollo is a very caring and attentive lover.
  • Smells Sexy: Klavier is comforted by the smell of Apollo's cheap violet cologne. Played with when Daryan smells Klavier's hair, he seems like that he's enjoying the smell of Klavier's expensive saffron cologne, but then it turns into something else.
  • Sorry to Interrupt: Trucy walks in with donuts right when Apollo and Klavier were about to kiss while trying to sneak the latter out of the office.
  • Spoiled Brat: Machi is an unrepentant smuggler coddled by Lamiroir, who enables him to get away with a lot of things and spoils him rotten.
  • Spotting the Thread: After the Vera Misham case, Phoenix realizes that Shadi Enigmar's bludgeoning death is too physical and spontaneous for Kristoph who is a very patient poisoner.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Gender-Inverted Trope, Klavier is able to stop Machi from running from grabbing his wrist.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Plum opposes Apollo's plan for implicating Daryan for trying to be too neat and complicated. While she does give Apollo the igniter he wanted, she also gives him a gun.
  • Stealth Pun: Apollo lives in a closet while having a Secret Relationship with another man.
  • Stopped Caring: Winston Payne, who has an idea what's going on but doesn't care enough to find out.
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: After meeting in a Rite-Aid, Apollo and Klavier end up takng down the other man's abuser. To their credit, they brought up the legal options first before going through with it. Although Apollo doesn't agree to it at first because he didn't believe that he could escape Kristoph and ends up filling his end of the deal after Klavier successfully frames Kristoph and they both get him sent to prison. Instead of killing them, they frame them for murders they enabled and get the actual murderers off.
  • Straight Gay: Apollo since he did have a boyfriend in college prior to Klavier.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Klavier is initially mistaken to be Kristoph when he and Apollo first meet and Apollo has to remind himself sometimes that Klavier and Kristoph do have some physical differences when he gets startled. Klavier himself exploits his resemblance to disguise himself as Kristoph to frame his brother for murder. Vera Misham is afraid of Klavier because he looks so much like his brother.
  • Symbolic Mutilation: Klavier lost his small toe because of Daryan to represent that he lost a small part of himself.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Klavier's affair with Apollo is portrayed sympathetically because Daryan is a domestic abuser who has the police on his side and openly threatens (and later tries) to kill Klavier.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Olga Orly killed Shadi Enigmar after she gets beaten with a wine bottle for somehow failing to spot Phoenix cheating at cards.
  • Synchronized Morning Routine: The morning of the Vera Misham trial, the narration details how Klavier and Apollo get ready in the morning as they deliberately dress themselves to look vulnerable to gain the sympathy of the jury.
  • Taking the Heat: When Edgeworth captures them in Germany and he's trying to figure out who's the mastermind, Klavier and Apollo both try to take the blame in hopes he would let the other go. This complicates Edgeworth's decision as this proves that they both genuinely love each other along with the grey areas of their actions.
  • Tap on the Head: Shadi hits Olga with a wine bottle which disorients her for a little bit. Then subverted as Shadi dies when Olga returns the favor with the help of Klavier.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Apollo and Lamiroir begrudgingly work together for Apollo to become Machi's defense attorney and Lamiroir to implicate Daryan so Machi won't be executed for LeTouse's murder.
  • Terms of Endangerment: When Daryan calls him "sweetheart" or any sort of endearment, it means Klavier has made him angry. Daryan uses it often enough that endearments become Klavier's trigger
  • There Is Only One Bed: When Klavier allows Apollo to stay in hotel room, they share the bed because Klavier had rented the room only for himself.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Klavier is horrified when he helps Olga Orly kill Shadi Enigmar to the point of having nightmares and starts thinking he deserves to be killed by Daryan. Apollo snaps him out of it when he thanks Klavier for saving his life
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: Winston Payne deliberately irks Klavier by calling him "Mr. Gavin", which Kristoph was called.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: When Klavier is hiding at the hotel, he tells Daryan that he picked up two college girls so he doesn't have enough for Daryan so he is not coming back for the night.
  • Think Nothing of It: Klavier deflects Apollo's praise for him rescuing the latter, although this is because he believes that he owed Apollo for dealing with Kristoph and because he had helped someone kill a man in order to get his brother put away.
  • This Is Reality: Plum tells Apollo that this is no Agatha Christie novel, that Daryan didn't commit a neat crime he tried to kill Klavier. Which means that Apollo shouldn't try to commit a neat crime, he should try to commit an effective one.
  • This Means War!: After Klavier is nearly strangled to death by Daryan, Apollo stops being indecisive on his end of the deal and take him down for good.
    • An earlier one has Apollo giving Klavier his permission to take his brother down after Kristoph made his drain cleaner threat.
  • Title Drop: At the story's end.
    Franziska: One hopes they're grateful.
    Edgeworth: I don't doubt their capacity for gratitude, once I feel better entitled to it. - Don't misunderstand me. Once they've learned anything worth knowing and once they're official human beings again. But at this point all I've provided amounts to...clean sheets and dirty sympathy.
  • To Know Him, I Must Become Him: Apollo tries thinking like Kristoph in order to figure out what the latter wanted from Vera Misham and what he would think of her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Edgeworth, who's an unoffical consultant and government figure to all of Europe and parts of Asia.
  • Tracking Device
  • Treachery Cover Up: Why Edgeworth won't extradite Klavier and Apollo back to the U.S. All their cases would be put into question, endangering innocents like Wocky Kitaki and Vera Misham. Their convictions could be overturned, which could allow Kristoph his freedom since his final conviction is dependent on a crime he didn't commit and Phoenix would lose his creditability and the progress he made.
  • Trauma Button:
    • Klavier has a major one with people calling him "darling" or "sweetheart" since Daryan would threaten or hurt him calling him that, when Apollo calls him that he freaks out and leaves.
    • He also has one for whispering as it triggers his memories of Daryan's abuse, refusing to whisper to Apollo when his own throat is hurt.
  • Trickster Mentor: Deconstructed with Phoenix's cryptic riddles and actions unintentionally makes things worse for himself, Apollo and Klavier.
  • True Love Is Boring: Klavier and Apollo become a couple after Apollo refuses to leave him and establishes that he's going help Klavier early in the story. Since they both get along really well and adore each other the story throw wretches like that Klavier is cheating on Daryan for Apollo, Daryan's attempted murder of Klavier, the return of Kristoph and their fleeing from the country. This is lampshaded by Apollo in Obon Festival Arc
    Apollo: I just...want to see you. In some kind of normal situation.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Cheap cellphones can be used as a surveillance device to track other cellphones. The Seventh Amendment of the Constitution has been repealed and replaced with bench trials.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Apollo to Klavier.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Since they are both villain protagonists, their relationship is pretty much this.
  • Unknown Rival: A rather unique variant. Daryan doesn't know that Apollo sees him as his rival for Klavier's affections despite Klavier hating Daryan and greatly preferring Apollo. He knows that Klavier has a lover but never finds out that it's Apollo.
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: Kristoph pays the rent of Apollo's apartment, he definitely knows where he lives and gives Apollo an unpleasant remainder by visiting his apartment to drop off drain cleaner.
  • Villain Protagonist: While Klavier and Apollo sometimes regret the lengths they go to, will do what is right given a chance and have understandable reasons for their "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder they are this. They are willing to manipulate others to get the results they want or to not dirty their hands. Klavier was willing to kill Phoenix to frame Kristoph until Shadi Enigmar gave him an opportunity. Apollo is willing to manipulate witnesses, attempted to get Machi to give himself to Daryan fully knowing the latter would abuse or kill him, tampered with a crime scene to implicate someone else and let the murderer off with a lesser crime.
  • Visual Pun: Trucy tells Apollo "So I guess you don't live in a closet" after catching Klavier leaving Apollo's room, which is a converted storage closet.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Plum asks Apollo did he ever think that Klavier wasn't worth it. He replies that he never did.
  • Wham Episode: When Phoenix questions Apollo with the Magatama.
  • Wham Line: Unintentionally, Phoenix destroyed Apollo and Klavier's post-Vera Misham trial success and exposed their plot by asking two innocuous questions with the Magatama, causing Apollo to break out in Psyche-Locks and, later, him and Klavier to immediately flee the country:
    Phoenix (concerned): Is everything okay back there?
    Phoenix (trying to lighten the suddenly serious mood after the first question): Just how long have you been madly in love with Prosecutor Gavin?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Trucy calls out Apollo on being angry for Phoenix keeping secrets.
    Trucy: Fine, be serious! You were fighting with Daddy. First off, your timing is terrible, and anyway, what makes you think you can get mad at him for being all secretive?
    Apollo: Because this is a murder trial, maybe?
    Trucy: Says the person who was sleeping with a certain someone else before Daryan Crescend got put away.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Edgeworth noted that Klavier and Apollo could have left Vera Misham to rot but chose to face Kristoph for her sake anyways.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Klavier and Apollo have this opinion of their names: Klavier jokes that he's glad that his parents named him in the living room and that they had a piano or he might have been Kaffeemaschine Gavin. Apollo jokes with a name like "Apollo" he should at least be taller and better-looking.
  • With This Ring: Klavier asks Apollo in jest if he's proposing after he tries to return Klavier's ring after confessing their love for each other. Apollo replies that he wouldn't be so crass to propose with Klavier's own ring.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Apollo's initial plan was to plant a firebomb in Daryan's bag and set it off when Klavier's guitar goes on fire to implicate him. Then he meets Machi and tries to convince the latter to work with Daryan so he could get Daryan to implicate himself by working with Machi, but then Machi steals Apollo's gun. When Machi shots LeTouse, Apollo covers up that Machi shot him by taking out the bullets and shooting LeTouse's corpse with LeTouse's gun so it would look impossible for Machi to have shot him. Then when he catches Lamiroir trying to frame Klavier, he convinces her to work with him so he can get Machi off on lesser charges and to get Daryan sent to jail.
  • Yakuza: Plum Kitaki uses her connections to supply Klavier and Apollo with information, weapons and a way out of the country.
  • You Are Not Alone: Both Klavier and Apollo have given up the idea of being rescued by the time they first meet each other, only for the both of them to make an emotional connection that finally help them to escape their abusers.
  • You Did Everything You Could: Apollo consoles Klavier, who is distraught over helping someone kill a man that he tried using legal options and that he saved Apollo's life.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: Before Apollo could ask why Winston Payne knows he's looking for Klavier:
    Winston Payne: You think I'm asking you to bare your soul? Don't. We both know you had an ulterior motive, but I don't want to hear even the first thing about it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Klavier seemed to have embraced the fact that Daryan will kill him when he no longer amuses him.