Fandom: Professor Layton
Word Count: 1361
Disclaimer: I don't own Professor Layton. Or his top-hat of awesome.
Teaser: Ever have a day where everything goes wrong? So does Professor Layton.
It was, Layton reflected come the evening, One Of Those Days.
It had all started when he woke up that morning and promptly fell out of bed. How odd, though; how had he gotten so close to the edge of the bed? Perhaps he had been tossing and turning. He did not feel particularly rested, which didn’t help his mood at all. But he eventually made it out of bed and shrugged his robe on before heading down the stairs. He was feeling unusually grumpy, and wanted little more than to get the paper and have a cup of tea or three to get his morning started.
It was then that he found that his slippers were missing. Deciding to go without them, he opened the door, and immediately regretted that choice when a blast of cold air hit him squarely in the face and chilled him straight through.
The joy of this discovery was only compounded when he realized that the paper was not on the front porch, where it usually landed, but appeared to be out in the yard, the victim of a tragic lack of aim on the part of the paperboy. Layton sighed, screwed up his nerve, and toddled out to get it, ignoring as best he could the fact that the pavement was frigid cold and he was without shoes.
It was pretty hard to ignore the fact that he and his bare feet managed to step on a thistle in the grass as he was retrieving the paper, though. The spikes made him jump and yelp in a most undignified manner. Deciding that perhaps it was not a good day to go outside after all, Layton grabbed the paper and rushed back inside, slamming the door shut behind him.
The events of his first ten minutes of consciousness should have heralded as a bad omen of things to come, and Layton soon realized that the day had just barely started.
He somehow managed to burn his tea, though he really was not entirely certain how. And then he discovered that there were not enough tea leaves left to attempt a second cup, so he was forced to raid Luke’s cocoa stash for something warm to drink.
He then burned his tongue on his first sip.
And found that his paper had gotten wet from landing on the dew-soaked grass. Only one section of the newspaper was still legible. And of course, the one day when he had no other news to read, the comics decided to be wholly unfunny.
When he went to get dressed, figuring that if he was going to face the Day from Purgatory, he would do it clothed in something other than his pajamas, he discovered a large stain on his favorite shirt. And it seemed that all of his pairs of socks had split, and none of them wanted to be reunited with their proper partners. So he eventually gave up and went downstairs wearing one brown sock, and one blue and purple striped sock.
It got worse from there. Puzzles that felt like they should have been a cinch to solve remained unanswered. And it wasn’t just one riddle, oh no. It was every single one that found its way into his hands, their words, numbers, and matchsticks seeming to taunt him from the page on his desk. Nothing he tried to solve the bloody things worked; the solutions eluded him.
Finally, he threw them down in frustration and decided to turn his attention to a few matters of archaeology that had come his way. That endeavor lasted for approximately ten minutes, and ended when the clay pot he had spent the better part of several days piecing together wound up right back in pieces on his work table.
By the time the door opened and Luke came in, having completed his day at school, Layton was sitting at his desk, gripping the arms of his chair so tightly that his knuckles had probably permanently turned white. He was staring straight ahead, and there was no sound in the office save for the sound of the Professor’s teeth grinding together.
Ah, but Luke was here now. That was a relief, for certain. The boy was almost always a joy to have around, and surely his apprentice’s presence would help improve his awful day. He quickly put a smile on his face and bestowed said smile on Luke as the boy came into the office. “Hello, my boy. How was your day at school?”
“It was wonderful, Professor!” Luke gushed, hopping into a chair and tallying off the various points on his fingers as he relayed them verbally. “I aced all the tests we took last week, and I scored the winning run when we played baseball over the break. And I won an award for that art project I did last month. Oh, and I got a note from the prettiest girl in my class!” He glanced at the Professor with a slightly shy smile. “She thinks I’m cute.”
“Th-that’s nice, my boy,” Layton said, feeling just a bit overwhelmed. It seemed that Luke had had an extremely good day. And it also seemed that he wasn’t done yet.
“Oh, and I did this during my study time,” Luke said, pulling a piece of paper from his school satchel and handing it to the Professor. “I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, and today it suddenly just made perfect sense!”
Layton looked at the paper. “Luke, my boy, this is Fermat’s Last Theorem, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is!” Luke said happily.
“This math problem has been unsolved for well over two hundred years.”
“I know! Isn’t it wonderful?” Luke picked up his bag. “I’m going to go upstairs and put my things away. Is there anything for us to do today, Professor?”
“No…” Layton said, resisting the urge to slam his head into his desk. “No, not today, my boy.”
Luke seemed unfazed by his mentor’s discomfort, and reclaimed his paper before he headed on up the stairs, humming cheerfully under his breath.
Layton’s day, on the other hand, didn’t get any better. Dinner turned into a smokey, blackened mess, barely edible despite Luke’s insistence that some charcoal in one’s diet was probably perfectly healthy. Layton was not amused, and even less amused when he managed to set his sleeve on fire.
Luke, meanwhile, had to go field a phone call, and came back crowing that an essay he had written for school was being considered for a very big award. Layton growled something that might have passed for a congratulations as he stuck his arm in the sink to extinguish his shirt.
Luke went back upstairs, leaving the Profoessor to clean up the mess he had made. The bucket ended up spilling, making an even bigger disaster of the kitchen. But he managed to get it cleared up somehow without breaking any bones.
Now completely exhausted, Layton walked up the stairs with every intention of going to bed and not moving until the next morning. But a noise from the bathroom drew his attention, and though he was quite sure that he would regret it, he went to see what it was.
Luke was standing in the bathtub, which was full of water. No, that wasn’t right. He was standing on the bathtub. But in the center of it?
The boy turned to his mentor and grinned. “Professor! I’ve learned to walk on water!”
The scream that tore loose from Layton’s throat was like nothing he had ever let out before, and he turned and ran down to his own bedroom, slamming the door behind him. He thought he heard a splash from the bathroom as he turned and fled, and wondered if Luke had been surprised enough to crash down into the filled tub.
Served him right.
Without even bothering to change, Layton dove into bed under the blankets and buried his face in the pillow. He wasn’t moving again for the rest of the night, no way, no how, nothing was going to get him out of this bed again—
The lights flickered and went out.