A/N: Hey everybody. I think I'm going to scrap this fic. Don't worry, it'll still be around for you to look at all of its grammatical and logic errors, but I'll most likely be starting a new one under the same premesis; this time probably without older!Layle at all, and I won't be updating it any longer. As for why, the answer is easy: It's moving too quickly, it's poorly written, and it's (more or less) a logic fail. Anyway, as compensation, have a little bit of what I wrote for this planned chapter, and some snippets of the game, novelized. :{D happy reading

Layle pokes holes into the white sand with his fingers as they talk at him behind back, but it doesn't matter, because it's really all just in one ear and out the other. Somewhere along the way, he feels himself being tugged up onto his legs by his shoulder, but he quickly swats the hand away with a flick of his finger. Keiss staggers back, and Belle finally quiets herself, taking a step away from the Clavat, hands held near her chest. He stares at the two of them, and he already knows what they've been going on about—where have you been, what have you been doing, do you know how worried we were? Layle just shakes his head. Belle drags her eyes away from him and onto the ground, and Keiss clenches his teeth. "C'mon, Layle—"

"Keiss, don't," Belle murmurs as she pulls her hands from her chest and down to her hips.

"But, Belle, we've been looking all over and he's just being stupid—"

Layle knows what they both want to happen at this point. They want Layle to talk to Althea, be recognized as the hero he supposedly is, and they want everything to be fine. They want him to go back to doing run-of-the-mill jobs with Keiss, and they want him to just come back, like nothing's happened.

But Layle knows that he can't.

And he also knows how horridly melodramatic he's being—all this hub-bub with his emotional turbulence and 'troubled past'—what was he, an angst ridden teen? But no matter how hard he tried, going back to his old life of surveying air ships and picking wine grapes—it just didn't seem right. He needed to think things through, find out what he needed to do with his life but most importantly—

"He needs more time, Keiss."

Layle tunes back in to hear Belle's voice, softer than he's ever heard before. It sounds strangled, as if she's on the verge of crying, though Keiss looks more distressed than she does. Keiss has a hand on her shoulder, and Layle can tell he's trying to comfort her about the situation, but to little to no avail.

The blond bends down to reach for his jacket that's crumpled on the ground and Keiss looks over at him, a deep set frown on his tanned face. "Layle…" he begins, a reprimanding tone in his voice. The Selkie doesn't continue, though, and Layle just finishes the sentenced in his thoughts while he shrugs on the chain mail coat, looking rather ridiculous as the half of him is dressed in sandals and cargo shorts.

Learn to be a team player.

"Layle, report in," came a young Selkie's voice, sounding exasperated and annoyed.

Layle, the Clavat in question, had been scratching away the hours on the side of the tiny escort craft—he was up to seven and a half hours in tally marks. Despite already knowing the answer, he rolled his head to the side and lazily casted his gaze over to the overpopulated cruise liner. The sky was darkened beneath his tinted goggles, and he could make out a hefty Lilty man jumping from the diving board.

"There's nothing here to report," the blond relaxed his neck, allowing his head to rest back on the seat. "All quiet out here, Keiss." Sighing, he felt his muscles ache for some sort of stimulation—a stretch would have to do, he thought mildly as he brought his arms above his head. "What a dull gig." The words came out sounding on the verge of whining.

Layle gripped the sides of the railing—he couldn't risk putting all the people down there in danger by jumping down and outright brawling with Jegran. His eyes darted left and right. He had to find a way for them to escape. As it was now, they were all at his mercy. The blond grit his teeth as he watched the sneering Lilty corner a pair of Selkie women. This next part came easy: throwing the nearest ladder down at the black clad man. It fell down with a clamor, and the Lilty looked up in his direction with a glare. Meanwhile, the two women managed to bolt to another corner of the holding chamber.

Come on, come on, anything! He spun around desperately, hearing the cry of yet another Selkie man—no doubt turned to crystal. Ladders—he'd used them all. Where was the debris? Something to throw down at Jegran; a rock, a monster, a pipe—pipe, pipe, oh thank god, there were pipes.

And there she was, still, without animation, and ruby red: nothing but a monument left to stand for eternity. Layle couldn't bring himself to move closer. His arm still ached from the amount of strenuous activity it'd been put through, and he himself was positively livid.

Hours, days, weeks, months. He couldn't tell how long he'd been traversing the Altifaria kingdom (or, in Belle's words, "moping around") for. In the time that he kept Jegran waiting, Layle had visited that lonely man beneath the winery well, watching as the other workers lowered food down to him. He'd visited that pretty girl and learned that one of the robins had taken a liking to the idea of his hair as a nest. He'd mastered chocobo racing, picked all the mushrooms in the moogle forest, and closed the miasma streams around the kingdom five times over each.