AN: I bring you another one from the ol' Anon Meme on LJ. The prompt is essentially this: when Layton starts doing a puzzle, he gets into it. REALLY into it, to the exclusion of all else. This is very dialogue heavy. I'll let you decide who's saying what. I don't own Layton. Thanks for reading, and much love!

Riddle Me This

When it came to puzzles, and the solving of puzzles, Professor Hershel Layton had no equal.

The only problem with that fact was that every now and then he would allow himself to get a bit, shall we say, carried away with his riddles and mindteasers. A particularly good one could keep him plenty occupied for an entire afternoon. And an extremely good one could actually have some mildly disastrous consequences for those around him.


"Not now, Luke, I'm working."

"All right…" The door closed, and the boy was gone.

It was an intriguing puzzle, to be sure. And no matter which angle Layton explored it from, he could not quite seem to make all of the pieces fit together as they needed to. But he was determined to find the answer, so much so that he didn't even notice his stomach growling, or the shifting of the light outside his window as night and day started cycling around each other.

He barely even noticed Luke and Flora sticking their heads in now and again.

"Professor? You know you haven't eaten in a while…"

"Profes—oh good heavens, what is that smell in here?" Coughing. "M-maybe a bath would help?"

"Professor, we're out of food."

"Professor, the lights are out. Something about a bill not being paid?" A pause before a snort. "Figures you're working by candlelight."

"Professor, we don't have any running water. Have you paid the bill this month?"

"Professor, the university called. They wish to know if you've died or left a forwarding address."

"Professor, want to come jump in the leaves with us?"

"Professor, the kitchen's on fire. I tried to stop Flora from cooking but, well, you know…"

"Professor, someone stole the painting from the foyer."

"Professor, someone stole the Laytonmobile."

"Professor, someone stole Luke."

"Never mind, we got him back. Apparently he bites when provoked."

"Professor, can you help us shovel the snow?"

"Professor, a cat in a hat just showed up. He said something about plays fun games that are funny?"

"Professor, we're running out of places to put all the messages people are leaving for you."

"Professor, there are no more puzzles left in the world. That one you have is the very last one."

"Professor, we're out of tea."

"Professor, there's a ghost in the attic. A lady named Claire. She says she misses you and loves you."

"Professor, Inspector Chelmey wants you to help on a case."

"Professor, Inspector Chelmey wants you to answer your phone."

"Professor, Inspector Chelmey wants you to be declared legally dead."

"Professor, the roof caved in."

"Professor, there's an awful lot of noise outside."

"…Professor, there's a very skeletal man with a horse at the door. He says his name is Pestilence. He and his three brothers said they'd like a word with you."

"Ah, I've got it! Critical thinking is the key to success! …I'm sorry, what were you saying, my boy?"

"…never mind. It's not important."