Fandom: Professor Layton
Word Count: 502
Disclaimer: I don't own Professor Layton. Or his top-hat of awesome.
Teaser: Luke has always had a way with animals.
Luke had always had a special affinity for animals. When he was very young, he would frequently sneak out to the small forested area behind the orphanage and just sit and watch the birds, the deer, even the occasional snake, and whatever else happened to be moving around out there. There were no animals out there that posed any sort of actual threat to him, he knew.
It was also worthy of note that while they shied away from him at first, after a time they began to move around him with far less reserve. It was almost like they recognized him, or had finally come to sense or understand that he meant them no harm. Those were peaceful moments.
Then he was sent away to become a live-in apprentice to Professor Layton, and those trysts out to the forest after dinner had to become things of the past. But it was a relief to find that the Professor not only approved of his fascination with the wild creatures of nature, but encouraged it.
As he grew a bit older and learned more, both of puzzles and of other things, he discovered something very interesting: birds had an understandable tendency to fly away from humans who moved towards them. It was a defense mechanism. But Luke had found something…
He went out on the porch one afternoon in the spring, when birds were plentiful in the neighborhood, and sat with the birdseed cupped in the palms of his hands. Predictably, the birds flew away. But when necessary, he could be quite a patient lad, and so he waited, barely blinking or breathing, to see if it would actually work…
After a time, a small yellow bird landed on the sidewalk near Luke. He remained still, and watched as the bird hopped cautiously towards him. It seemed to size up the situation before it actually hopped into his hands and began pecking at the birdseed cupped there. Not long afterwards, several more birds joined the first, all eating out of the hands of a living, breathing, wonder-filled boy.
Luke forced himself to remain motionless, though he did allow himself a very slow, very slight smile as the birds perched on his fingers and wrists and helped themselves to the tasty offering.
The boy didn’t realize it at the time, but he was being observed as he went about this little experiment in animal behavior. A silent watcher was standing at the front window of the brownstone building, studying the interesting little scene as it unfolded before him. After a time, the observer turned away, smiling to himself as he went back to his desk and his work.
It wasn’t until dinnertime that Luke found himself being questioned by his mentor. “Luke, my boy,” Layton said, “you were outside for quite some time today. What did you do?”
Luke smiled broadly and shrugged. “Just feeding the birds.”
Professor Layton smiled, that one particular little look of his that meant he already knew. “I see.”
PS. I wrote this as part of NaNo, and then wound up gifting it to someone on the anon meme. Thanks!