Fandom: Professor Layton
Word Count: 766
Genre: Gen, Family
Disclaimer: I don't own Professor Layton. Or his top-hat of awesome.
Teaser: Luke seemed to be hiding something.
Every once in a while, Luke would go through a little period of time wherein he would withdraw into himself and become rather uncommunicative. He would spend his time holed up in his room, and avoid contact with other people, frequently even missing meals so as to keep to himself.
At first, Layton simply wrote it off as a sign that his apprentice was growing up and entering those delightful and difficult teenage years. But when he stopped and looked at the facts as he had them, he realized that such a conclusion was not very logical. It only happened once in a while, rather than a consistent, gradual change, as one would expect from a boy entering his adolescent years. Something just seemed odd about it.
And Layton was, indeed, a curious man. But he was also a reasonable man, and he certainly wasn’t about to go tromping all over his apprentice’s privacy. So he observed quietly, something he was very good at doing, and waited for the appropriate moment to ask.
The appropriate moment came a few weeks after his little analysis of Luke’s behavior. And that moment came because Luke was having one of those days where he was hiding in his room with the door closed. Layton watched as Luke came home from school, walked past with a mutter that may have been intended as a ‘hello,’ and went straight upstairs.
The Professor waited a moment after he heard the door close before he set aside the papers he had been perusing and stood. He made his way across the room and up the stairs with slow, measured steps. Luke’s room was at the end of the hall; he walked there, listened for a moment, then knocked lightly on the door. “Luke?”
There was no reply, so he knocked again, a bit louder this time. “Luke, my boy, are you all right?” When he again got no answer, he very carefully turned the knob and eased the door open. Perhaps Luke had fallen asleep or something…
But no, Luke was sitting at his desk. When the door opened, he tensed very quickly and shuffled the papers on top of his desk before he turned in his chair. “Y-yes, Professor?”
The movement did not escape Layton’s careful eye, but he made no comment on it. Instead he just took a step into the room and leaned casually against the doorframe, arms crossed. “Luke, my boy, is something bothering you?”
“No…” Luke said, and for some reason, Layton didn’t think he was being dishonest. “I just have something on my mind, but it’s nothing bad, I promise.” Now he looked down, but the Professor still didn’t get the impression that Luke was attempting to deceive him.
And for that reason, Layton decided not to push the issue. “All right, I’m just concerned. If there is something wrong, you would tell me?”
“I would, Professor. I promise.”
“Very well, then.”
It wasn’t until a few days later than Layton discovered something odd in Luke’s room. He went into the room in search of a book that his apprentice had borrowed. He found it on the desk. As he picked it up, he noticed the corner of what looked like a photograph poking out from beneath a few other papers. Some instinct told him to take a look, and he carefully withdrew it from the pile and examined it.
It was, indeed a photograph in white and sepia. And the person in the picture was a woman, and a very lovely one at that. She was dressed modestly and smiling prettily at the camera. The wind had caught her hair and she was holding onto her hat. It appeared to be a perfectly timed photo, immortalizing that single moment in brown and white.
A glance at the back of the picture told him exactly what he needed to know, though he did spare a moment to wonder where Luke had actually found it. But no matter. Perhaps he could ask his apprentice about it sometime. He smiled and returned the photo to where it had been shuffled into the other papers on the desk. He took his book and left the room, now with a better understanding of what was giving Luke those momentary lapses.
He sort of understood the secretive nature of young people at that age. But he was not entirely sure he knew why Luke would feel he had to hide that photo from him. After all, who could blame him for finding and wanting to keep a photo of his mother?
PS. *CLINGS TO FANON*