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perverbially ([personal profile] perverbially) wrote on June 10th, 2010 at 01:02 am
(FIC: ADRIAN/FRANZISKA) If Love is Surrender - Chapter 3
Title: If Love is Surrender
Fandom: Ace Attorney
Spoilers: Major JfA spoilers; other games, too, if you squint.
Pairing(s): Adrian Andrews/Franziska von Karma
Additional Character(s): Matt Engarde, Miles Edgeworth, Maya Fey, Pearl Fey, possibly others in later chapters.
Genre: Drama/Action.
Summary: Adrian Andrews saves herself.
Warnings/Rating: Oh, my. Let's see. Strong violence, both physical and psychological, very real suicide triggers, mental illness (in particular, disassociative symptoms, as well as multiple personalities), foul language, alcohol abuse, drugging, and to top it off... mentions of self mutilation. So. Um. Adult?
Notes: I'm really sorry, Franziska :( Hang in there, okay? Again, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] prunesquallormd for putting up with my frequently obtuse ramblings :D
Disclaimer: S'cool, Capcom. I'm just borrowing, I promise.
Previous Chapters: [CHAPTERS 1&2]


CHAPTER THREE: "STATE OF YOU"


The first thing Franziska notices is how horribly bright the sun is on her closed eyelids. She wonders, vaguely, whether she has overslept, but quickly brushes such a foolish possibility aside - she never oversleeps. Unless...

She opens her eyes irritably, tries to bring her hand up to shield them - only to find it heavy and unresponsive. Panic shoots through her, and she pushes herself up on her other arm, only to recoil into the pillows as pain lances through her ribcage.

"Try to stay still, Franziska." The voice is familiar, not to mention patronising.

"Miles Edgeworth...?"

He hums a mild sound of agreement, and she turns to face him, wincing against the soreness that seems to be pervasive in every one of her bones. He's sitting awkwardly in a plastic chair, eyes shadowed, but otherwise just as impeccably dressed and indescribably aggravating as she remembers him.

"How are you feeling?"

"Nowhere near awake enough to deal with such a thoroughly foolish question," she grumbles, eyeing him suspiciously. Confusion and fear are starting to creep into the pit of her stomach, along with a growing frustration at his unexplained presence. "What are you doing here?"

He grips the arm of his chair, gazing past her and out of the window. "I think you should get some more sleep, Franziska."

"You will explain your presence to me now, Miles Edgeworth!" she snaps, reaching for her whip. There's a twist of sharp, bright pain, the same useless lack of meaningful movement - and suddenly she remembers. She sits bolt upright, gasping in agony.

"Engarde, Engarde has her - he was there, at the apartment - " Franziska begins frantically, her voice jarringly rough. She's struggling out of bed before she knows it, arm hard and stiff at her side, every part of her body singing with pain. Usually Miles is significantly slower than her, but her impeded reflexes work in his favour, and he is able to catch her by her uninjured arm, firmly-but-gently guiding her back down onto the bed.

"Get off me!" she barks, batting at him furiously. Her head is pounding, her usually sharp mind feeling as though it's filled with stiflingly thick fog; she struggles to breathe, struggles to hold herself together, to think about anything other than the pain and how Adrian is not here, about Engarde and that gun and his face so full of rage...

"You need to calm down," Edgeworth is saying, his voice low and urgent. His hands are on her shoulders, but with a growl of impatience she shakes him off, her arm throbbing more with every movement. "Please, Franziska. They've already been forced to sedate you once - "

"What?!" she snarls, cheeks flushing red with outrage. "How dare they?"

"They tell me you were in danger of injuring yourself further," he says quietly, clutching his own elbow unconsciously. "I wasn't here, but I am fully satisfied that they took the best course of action to ensure your wellbeing. You needed urgent surgery."

Franziska shakes her head in disbelief, some subconscious corner of her mind already planning the lawsuit this foolish institution will be facing as soon as this mess is over. Looking down at herself, she sees a ridiculous, shapeless blue hospital gown, and under it a sprawling collection of bruises and cuts. The lower half of her right arm is in a bulky cast, and she remembers with a jolt the sight of Matt Engarde's foot, her whip just within reach, and then a sickening crack... she shakes her head once more, viciously, battling to clear it.

"Adrian," she says hoarsely, looking up into Miles's face. "You have her, don't you? You... she was going to co-operate with him... but I - I don't remember what happened after that. Do not lie to me, Miles Edgeworth."

He hesitates only briefly, to his credit. "I'm afraid we have been unable to locate her, or Mr. Engarde. Every available unit has been mobilised to find them. "

Franziska's uninjured fist clenches tightly - she suppresses the urge to smash the water jug, instead focusing every bit of the sick, prickling fear rushing through her into her left hand, gritting her teeth until she feels the skin of her palm break.

"If he has hurt her..."

"There is nothing to say that is the case," Miles says, sitting back down now, apparently convinced she's not going anywhere.

"And what do you call this?" she snaps, gesturing at her face, her arm.

"But he didn't kill you," he counters, his voice betraying a shade of feeling for the first time. "He could have, but he chose not to. You must remember Mr. Engarde's modus operandi - he doesn't like to dirty his hands in murder, so to speak. We have no reason to believe that has changed."

"I do not want your foolish conjecture, Miles Edgeworth! I want to know what you are doing to find them!"

He sighs, but his face is uncomfortably sympathetic. Franziska despises him more than ever. "I would be grateful if you'd let me finish, as I was just about to relate our most important lead to you."

"Well, spit it out!"

"Very well. At 11.30 last night, the LAPD received a 911 call from an anonymous caller, from a phone-booth we've traced to a nearby gas station. I've listened to the recording myself... it's Adrian, I am certain of it. She was directing the emergency services to your apartment."

"What? But why would he let her make such a call?"

"Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to that yet," Miles says evenly, looking her straight in the eye. "The station's security cameras were focused on the pumps; due to the angle, we've been unable to retrieve footage of the call being made. It's possible he was unaware that she made the call, of course... But personally, having listened to it, I have reason to believe he was present at the time. I think he may have been just as frightened by what he'd done as Adrian was."

Franziska laughs mirthlessly, immediately regretting it when both her ribs and her oncoming migraine protest. She clutches her free hand to her chest, narrowing her eyes. "You always were foolishly naive, Miles. But... I hope you are correct." Her head gives a particularly nasty throb, and she closes her eyes, fighting to remain upright. When it dies down again enough for her to form a coherent thought, she turns her face to the doorway, barking sharply, "You there!"

The officer lurking in the corridor jumps, apparently unaware he had been spotted. He stands to attention, fumbling a comedic salute. "Prosecutor von Karma, sir?"

"I want every report you have in front of me within five minutes, along with the State vs. Engarde case files, the CCTV footage from the gas station, the recording of the 911 call... and my clothing, if you please."

Miles looks like he has been expecting this, but still his eyebrows raise in exasperation. "You can't really believe you will be permitted to head this case, Franziska."

She glares at him. "I can, and I will."

"Even if you could stand unaided - which you can't - you must know that your personal connection to this would make such a thing impossible."

"Are you questioning my professionalism?" she says, gritting her teeth against another spasm of pain in her chest.

"I'm questioning your sanity, if you must know," he says - his tone is light, but his eyes are troubled. She doesn't meet them as he continues: "You have three fractured ribs, a shattered radius, extensive cuts and contusions, a broken nose... if you can't understand why the best place for you is here, letting the police do their job - I honestly do not know what to say to you."

Franziska bunches her fist on her knee, a futile effort to stop her hand shaking. The pain is overwhelming, but all she can think about is Adrian - gentle, thoughtful Adrian, alone with that man... Adrian, putting her fragile body in front of her assailant, whilst she cringes foolishly on the ground like a useless, cowardly child...

"You expect me to sit idly by, just waiting for news?!"

The pain in her head is blinding now: she touches the pad of tissue over her nose, grimacing in disgust. Miles doesn't answer her question, instead getting up and heading for the door.

"I'm calling a doctor, you need more painkillers."

"No, I'm - I don't - come back!" Franziska protests, a wave of nausea fumbling her words. She covers her eyes, the room too bright again all of a sudden. Pathetic, weak, disgusting...

A small woman in a white coat appears.

"How are we doing, Franziska?"

"I want people to stop asking such foolish, redundant questions," she mutters icily. The woman laughs.

"I'm sorry, it's sort of in the job description. Your brother says you need some more pain medication, is that right? I must say, we didn't expect you to be awake so soon..."

Franziska sees a blur of magenta at the corner of her bed. "I'm not a child, Miles Edgeworth... you can't - you can't make me - "

"Of course not, lovey, no one's making you do anything," the doctor says absently. Irritation prickles at the back of Franziska's neck. "It's just to help you get some rest, so you can be on the mend, okay?"

"No, I don't want to sleep - I need to find her - I need to - " she struggles to sit up, twisting her arm under her as she does so. There's a scream of pain, and it takes her a moment to realise it's coming from her own mouth.

"Come on now, you're going to hurt yourself again, Franziska..."

She slumps back, defeated, useless. If the pain would just stop, just for a moment, she could fix this, she's sure of it... "All right."

Miles stands silently in the corner as the doctor fixes her IV up, examining an oil painting on the wall. When she's quiet and laying back against the pillows, he steps forward.

"I'm afraid I have to go, Franziska," he says gently, his face a nondescript blur of pale flesh through her heavy eyes. "The police should be finishing up at your apartment now, and I want to get back for their report. Get some sleep - I'll update you later."

"Miles Edgeworth..." she begins. He puts a hand on her shoulder.

"We'll find her. I promise you."

"Don't make promises you can't keep," she mumbles drowsily, as her eyes slip closed.

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[CHAPTER 4?]
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