?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
16 February 2010 @ 09:34 pm
094 | April 12, 2019 | The Courthouse  
Society is comprised primarily of fools, Franziska thought to herself as she exited the elevator, which had deposited herself in the courthouse's main lobby. She was almost convinced today's trial had been a waste of time, and the only thing that prevented her from being utterly convicted of this fact was that, of course, the defendant had been guilty and it meant one more criminal off the streets.

But with the mountain of evidence against the defendant and the defense attorney's valiant bluffs, moves so amateur they could only be pulled off by the likes of Phoenix Wright, proceedings had taken a lot longer than usual and when Franziska checked the time on her cell phone's display, she was surprised to see that it was almost three in the afternoon. It seemed she wouldn't spend too much time at the office today; she would just ensure that this case was properly closed. She slipped her phone back into her bag and made sure her whip was adequately coiled before fishing her car keys out from the same bag, holding them in her hand as she made her way across the lobby - another case must have finished recently as well, as the lobby was filled twice as many people as usual.



She glared as she marched her way through - anyone who was foolish enough to get in her way could get a taste of her whip. She had already wasted enough time of her day on this foolish case, and she would not waste any more if she could help it.
***


Kristoph normally didn't follow up on cases that he had been offered and turned down - regardless of how valid his reasons were for rejecting the case, there was something almost depressing about seeing those cases played out to their conclusion in the courtroom. It was never that he thought he could have done/ something to change the almost inevitable outcome; there was simply something about watching the obviously damned attempt to plead otherwise that tended to drive things well past simple fascination and well into territory that began to feel unbelievably morbid.

On occasion, however, something about the case would catch his interest, and he would be sure to follow up on the proceedings of the trial after the fact; on even rarer occasions, he would attend the trial himself. This had started out as the former; a glance at the names that were registered with the court for the trial itself had very quickly turned it into the latter. The defense attorney was one he recognized, though Kristoph couldn't say it was one he respected very much, and he paid that particular notation no mind; the prosecuting attorney, instead, was what had ensured his presence at the courthouse that afternoon.

Franziska von Karma, then.. .

It had been a few nights since they had all met for dinner at Nobu; as much as the woman in question insisted on trying to grind down Kristoph's patience, he hadn't ignored her words entirely that evening. Her thoughts on the justice system tended to alternate wildly between making some semblance of sense and being horrifically, horrifically flawed; the massive contradiction had managed to pique his curiosity, if nothing else, and he had found himself subject to some bizarre urge to see Franziska actually perform - after all, he had yet to find himself standing across the courtroom from her, and he hadn't attended any of her other trials. Bluntly put, he had never seen the woman do anything outside of make a general nuisance of herself, and the prospect was an intriguing one.

Time had been cleared in his schedule, and after the trial was over that day, he couldn't say that he had found himself entirely disappointed.

Despite her temper and an almost irritating tendency toward completely unnecessary grandstanding, Franziska von Karma had proven herself to be one with an immense talent for planning and commanding a trial, though Kristoph had found his thoughts focused on what he had managed to observe of her behavior in other ways; namely, the way that what was usually an irritating amount of pride and stubbornness outside of the courtroom seemed to translate into a deep sense of unwillingness to bow to pressure within those walls, and what tended to come across as a bizarre need to pontificate at length about her less than orthodox views of needless, trivial things turned into an intense attention to detail and an incredibly sharp, straightforward way of presenting facts and evidence that would prove themselves to be crucial.

Indeed, what had struck Kristoph most about watching Franziska behind the prosecutor's bench had been the way that any social shortcomings she may have had somehow managed to make themselves almost disturbingly useful when in front of a judge. While he could see the potential for a few of her tendencies to cause issues in the courtroom - namely, a tendency to trend toward the predictable, and an inability to remain calm if that predictability was challenged - the flaws in her personality had somehow managed to contribute to a prosecuting style that was alarmingly methodical and precise. Of course, the implications of this had also wasted no time in rendering themselves disturbing on some level - the thought that Franziska von Karma simply had no idea how to behave outside of a court setting and so simply continued to apply these perceived strengths in all of her interactions was a strangely unsettling one. Kristoph supposed that he shouldn't have been at all surprised, given the sort of man that Franziska's father had been; regardless, it wasn't something that he chose to dwell on for very long, and overall Franziska von Karma's personal affairs remained of little consequence to him.

At the same time, however, he had seen her in the lobby following the trial; while he couldn't say what it was about the situation that apparently rendered him unable to leave well enough alone, he had found himself following her, managing to catch up to her despite the mass of humanity milling about - Kristoph would never say that his height never came with advantages. Though he didn't touch her, he addressed her once he was within a reasonable distance; he wasn't about to cause any more of a scene than was really necessary.

"Miss von Karma - if I can have a word?" Though he wasn't smiling, exactly, his expression was pleasant enough; his tone, too, was relatively light, even if it did lean closer to businesslike than truly cordial.

Franziska had been proceeding undisturbed, both her whip and the reputation of her temper ensuring that almost everyone gave her a wide berth. She was so focused on her departure that it took her several seconds to respond to the sound of her own name, and several more to stop her momentum and grind to a halt. The voice sounded almost familiar, and Franziska wondered who would be as foolish to disturb her as she turned to look at the man.

Upon realisation that it was Kristoph Gavin - the man's height made it difficult to confuse him with any other nameless defense attorneys, or even his own brother now Franziska was familiar with the latter - she found her hands automatically preparing her whip, pulling it tight and taut across her body. She was annoyed with herself now for not simply whipping the fool without a change in her pace, and tugged on her whip dangerously, glaring at the man. "No," she said sharply, turning her head so she could continue walking out again. She wondered what he wanted with her anyway; surely he had tried to indulge himself in enough meaningless conversation with her at the restaurant several nights ago?

Though his gaze flicked momentarily to the whip in her hands, Kristoph smiled at her anyway; while he had no doubt that she would end up causing a scene eventually, at the very least she had deigned to give him some sort of warning first as opposed to immediately unleashing the violence.

Not that he was planning on heeding that warning at all, of course; after all, he was already talking to her, and whatever conclusions he may have drawn about her, he wasn't about to simply acquiesce to her wishes - no, that would be far too easy. Simply put, as far as Kristoph was concerned, he was going to have his attempt at a pleasant conversation, as much as it would probably kill both of them.

"Ah, I simply wished to congratulate you on your victory," he said, and as much as the smile could have been seen as patronizing, at the very least his tone wasn't sardonic. "Your performance in there was quite impressive."

e'd been watching her? Although her fingers twitched on the whip again, eager to punish this man for continuing to talk when she had clearly stated a desire not to, curiousity overwhelmed the urge for now. Instead, she found herself lowering the whip while gazing at Kristoph warily - not only had he been watching her, he'd found it pertinent to congratulate her on what was nothing more than a normal day's work. Then again, she supposed it wasn't particularly hard to impress a defense attorney.

"Oh?" she said, and her voice, although still sharp, carried an undertone of amusement. "Was there any particular reason for your observation today, or has it been such a rough week business-wise that you're compelled to watch various trials out of boredom?"

Though he had been focusing on her face after he had addressed her, Kristoph found his gaze flicking downward a second time as she adjusted the whip's position. As soon as he was content in the knowledge that she was actually lowering it instead of finding somewhere to aim the thing, his attention returned to where it had been; though this was a promising sign, her tone contrasted strangely with the expression she was giving him - it wasn't a massive dissonance, but it was there all the same, and it kept him wary for now.

"I wouldn't consider it boredom, Miss von Karma," he said, his tone lightening somewhat as he spoke to her, "as it was more a matter of curiosity than anything else. I was aware of the case beforehand and decided to follow up on how the trial would be proceeding this afternoon; I saw that you were registered as the prosecuting attorney and so decided to attend. The things you mentioned at dinner the other night were...well, they were fascinating in their own right, and so when I noticed that you were prosecuting this case, I suppose one could say that I found myself intrigued by the possibility of actually seeing you in action."

While the explanation had been entirely truthful, Kristoph was aware that in terms of wording, it had ended up in something of a different place than it had started out; regardless, as much as he disliked the possibility that he now sounded vaguely interested in actually seeking out the little shrew, he wasn't about to point such things out or draw attention to it by rephrasing. After all, among the things Franziska von Karma was known for, her conversational skills were not anywhere near being on the list; she seemed to be incredibly literally-minded anyway, and so he doubted she would notice - if she commented on it, naturally, he would rephrase, but for now, that was the explanation she was getting.

Franziska had started to become inattentive once more halfway during Kristoph's explanation, finding her gaze fixated instead at some place vaguely over his shoulder. It appeared that for some reason, Kristoph Gavin was interested in observing her during a trial, but for what specific purpose, Franziska could not be entirely sure. She knew that her reputation preceded her when it came to her skill as a prosecutor, so she could only assume Kristoph Gavin wanted a taste of what it was like to be defeated and utterly humiliated by Franziska von Karma without having to experience it first-hand. A certainly foolish act for a defense attorney, but at the same time, she could hardly blame him for being curious.

Her gaze travelled back at him once he had shut up, and she found a smirk growing on her face as she fiddled with her whip. "You may have the time to waste loitering at the courthouse, but I do not. Do you have anything important to say, or am I free to make you go on your way?" The smirk had disappeared by the time she had finished speaking, instead replaced with an icy glare.

"You certainly have a bizarre idea of what constitutes basic manners, don't you?" Despite the content of the statement, Kristoph's tone wasn't harsh; if anything, it was amused. "Generally, one doesn't try to openly flee civil discussions."

Of course, this was quickly leaving 'civil' territory and heading toward 'goading' with amazing speed - but then again, he had known that was bound to happen eventually, considering the screaming harpy he was attempting to converse with. Either way, though his tone didn't shift away from the pleasant tone he had taken with her so far, his smile seemed to twist slightly, sliding quickly into a definite smirk.

"Incidentally, Miss von Karma, I'm in no way bound to this courthouse. Surely you at least have enough decorum to accept an offer to escort you to your vehicle?"

As Kristoph had expected, Franziska von Karma did not fail to deliver, as her attempts at asserting herself were about as amusing as he'd thought they'd be. He kept pace with her easily as they left the courthouse; after all, 'if you can keep up' would have been a far more valid restriction if he didn't have what had to be at least a ten-inch height advantage.

"Returning to your office, then, I'd imagine?" Though the question could be seen as being asked for the sake of formalities, traces of amusement still hadn't left his tone; whatever realizations he may have made earlier notwithstanding, the fact remained that she was irritated beyond belief with a normal conversation. He was nearly tempted to make note of the time - the exact length of time before she hit him would certainly be a thing of interest, considering the topics were perfectly non-inflammatory. At the very least, he could recall the time the trial had ended, and he could estimate from there.

Ten minutes seemed generous; he'd give her seven before he allowed himself to be surprised.

"Naturally," Franziska snapped, irritated to see that Kristoph Gavin was having no trouble at all keeping pace with her, "although I do not see how that is any business of yours."

Considering their speed, they were soon close to exiting the courtroom lobby, and Franziska tucked her whip under her arm to open the door, begrudgingly holding it open for Kristoph. "Seeing as you have already offered me your meaningless congratulations, did you have anything else to say, or are you insistent on completely wasting my time?"

"And is there a reason that you continue to insist that this is a complete waste of time?" Kristoph said, though his tone indicated that he was already aware of the answer; he looked at her oddly as he pressed his hand to the door, holding it open - he was aware that she had probably opened and held it for the sake of efficiency only, but at the same time he couldn't dismiss the thought that between Edgeworth and Franziska, apparently no one in this 'family' of sorts had any faith in anyone else's ability to properly open a standard door.

"After all," he continued as they stepped outside, "you're going to need to walk to your vehicle anyway; as you're still going that way, I wouldn't consider this a waste of time, necessarily."

The sun seemed to shine directly into Franziska's eyes the moment she walked out the door, and she raised an arm to block the light's path. Now that they were outside, her pace slowed a bit, giving her enough time to turn and glare at Kristoph properly. Every time she thought this man had reached his maximum capacity for foolery, he became even more foolish.

"I'm considering it a complete waste of my time," she said icily, "because you have still not gotten to the point, Mr. Kristoph Gavin."

Kristoph more than noticed the glare - regardless of what she thought about his level of intelligence, he definitely had the common sense to keep an eye on her, as colliding with her never seemed to end well - but he didn't return it; rather, he met it with a smile and a successful attempt at not being otherwise openly entertained.

"And why, Miss von Karma, does there need to be an explicitly-stated point?"
It was clear to Franziska why this man had become a defense attorney; in addition to being overly foolish, he also seemed to enjoy partaking in nonsensical circular arguments even when not in the courtroom.

"Of course there does, if you do not want me to consider this a complete waste of time. Did I not just say that, or are you so completely stupid that I must repeat myself?" The look on her face had passed from irritated to almost disbelieving.

Though Kristoph was aware that it might vex her further - she seemed quite the humorless sort, unless the humor was ridiculously dry - he found himself laughing slightly; the sound was quiet, almost breathless, and accompanied by a shake of his head. "No repetition is necessary, Miss von Karma; you've been perfectly clear."

He paused for a moment, arching his back a bit; sitting still for so long had caused quite the knot to form along the lower portion of his spine, though he could feel some of the tension loosen as they walked. "You've never allowed yourself to relax for more than an hour at a time, have you?"

As they were approaching her car, Franziska dug her keys out of her pocket again, not even looking at Kristoph as she replied. "An hour? I don't have that amount of time to waste - fifteen minutes is a perfectly adequate amount of time to regain any sort of lost attention span." She ground to a halt, then, twirling the keys around a finger. "Are you always this foolish, Mr. Kristoph Gavin?"

"Consider it a flaw if you must," Kristoph said, a wry tone lacing through his words; at the same time, he still was far from displeased. "Most consider it 'making conversation', for one thing; 'being sociable', for another. Either way, you don't make such things an easy task - I've come to think of it a challenge."

He paused for a moment; those keys were immensely distracting. "Though I must admit that you've been far more personable than usual this afternoon. Is there a reason, or am I going to have to devote a particular amount of care and energy to ensuring that you don't attempt some sort of vehicular assault as soon as my back is turned?" Despite his words and the fact that his tone was still more wry than not, the soft smile was back.

Franziska's patience was wearing thin, and thus she stopped fiddling with the key, catching it in her palm before resuming her walk once more. "Surely you have adequate challenges in your life, being a defense attorney. Or do you simply not try, seeing how every case is a forgone conclusion?" She stared up at him, then, as though somewhat mystified by the man's train of logic. Had he even wanted anything today? What manner of man was he!?

"And I would commit no such assault. It would be far too complicated, and I deal with enough paperwork on a daily basis without a needless lawsuit on my hands, and I'm sure you can say the same for yourself."

She reached the car and inserted the key into her lock, and then looked back at Kristoph. "I must ask once more, for clarity's sake: did you have anything pertinent to tell me?"

Kristoph shifted where he stood, pressing his glasses up further onto the bridge of his nose, but the amusement hadn't left his eyes. Though she was clearly agitated, she was being almost cute about it - was she really so easily perplexed?

Of course, whatever level of cuteness she may have acquired would be obliterated as soon as that whip came down; with that thought in mind, Kristoph decided to take his leave while he was ahead.

"Simply put? Not in the least." He tipped his head slightly, as though to acknowledge her one last time before he left. "Thank you for the conversation, Miss von Karma; enjoy the rest of your day, assuming such a thing isn't too far beneath you."

He'd spent all that time following her, pestering her, for absolutely nothing? Franziska decided she was not going to waste any more time on this absolute fool of a man - even a severe whipping was far, far, too good for what he deserved. Instead, she exhaled angrily and wrenched the car door open, sat down, and slammed it behind her. As she put her key in the ignition and started her car, she almost started to reconsider her previous thought of not committing 'vehicular assault', but then decided he most definitely wouldn't be worth the paperwork.

So as she put her foot down on the gas pedal, her only thought was that Kristoph Gavin better get out of her way, if he had any idea what was good for him, although she was starting to presume he didn't.