So guess what, I'm back before another 18 months has elapsed! And I am now making this even more AU, because if you have looked up spoilers, you know why Emmy left. If you haven't looked up spoilers, I seriously suggest that you keep it that way. Established LukexFlora for the fun of it.
Disclaimer: If I owned Professor Layton, what was revealed about Emmy in the last game would have been completely different.
I was nervous.
There was no denying that fact, it had been years since I had seen the Professor and Luke. Not since I left my job as his assistant.
I hadn't even contacted them since then.
It wasn't that I didn't want to, but I knew if I did I would be too tempted to go back and join in on his adventures again, I've missed them like you wouldn't believe. I had to move on though, if I didn't things would have ended badly.
I climbed the stairs to the Professor's home, and stood there for several seconds before taking a deep breath and knocking on the door. A moment passed before I woman that I didn't recognize opened the door. I have to admit, I was slightly taken aback.
"Hello," she said. "May I help you?"
"Umm," Who was she? "Yes, is Professor Layton home?"
"Yes he is," She smiled then looked over her shoulder. "Hershel! There's someone at the door for you!" She turned back to me. "I don't believe I've seen you before. What's your name?"
Before I could respond I heard a voice that I hadn't heard in years. "Emmy?" I looked up to see the Professor on the stairs. "Emmy Altava?"
I smiled weakly, "Hello Professor Layton, it's been a while hasn't it?"
The air in the living room felt thick enough to be cut with a knife. I sat quietly, holding my teacup between my hands waiting for the interrogation to begin.
"Emmy!" I looked up to see Luke bounding down the hall, a young girl maybe two or three years older than him standing behind him. He threw his arms around me; I chuckled and hugged him back.
"Well hello there, assistant number two."
"Hey, that's apprentice number one, remember?" He laughed, before becoming serious. "Where have you been these past few years? You never contacted us after you left."
"Yes," The Professor said. "I believe there's quite a bit for us to catch up on."
And that was how we had ended up here. I had hoped that things wouldn't end up this way. I looked over to Luke who, despite being so ecstatic earlier, was looking slightly downcast. The girl next to him, Flora was her name, had an arm around his shoulders. I tore my eyes away from them over to the Professor, who was looking right back at me, disappointment evident in his eyes. I really couldn't blame him. The woman who had answered the door, Claire, was sitting next to him apparently unsure of what to do.
"Why Emmy?" The hurt in the Professor's voice was mirrored by Luke's eyes. "You left without so much as an explanation and then never contacted us. Why do all that only to show up on our doorstep years later? If you needed to be on your own for a while, why not just say so?"
I looked down, "I wish it were that simple."
"Then what happened? Please Emmy, tell us." The look in Luke's eyes was unbearable. I could not believe how much pain I had caused them with my sudden departure.
I took a deep breath. "When I was still working as your assistant Professor, I started to receive mysterious notes. Oftentimes they would be complimenting us on what we had done on our various adventures, sometimes they would just comment on what we had done on a day-to-day basis. I didn't think much of it to begin with; I figured that if this person made their self known I could just deal with them and move on. But then the tone of the notes began to change." I shuddered as I remembered the vile words that had been sent to me through these notes.
"Change how?" The Professor asked the disappointment now replaced with concern. Claire next to him looked worried.
"They became... How do I put this? Umm, they became more threatening. Rather than the stalkerish tone they had taken on before that had said one person, they became threats and appeared to be sent by multiple people. They said I had to leave, or watch you two die." I choked back a sob as I remembered the terrible words.
"Oh Emmy, why didn't you tell us? We could have helped you; you didn't have to go through this on your own."
"Yeah Emmy," Luke said. "We were in everything together, remember?"
"I couldn't risk it. If either of you had gotten hurt, or worse, because of me, I'd never be able to forgive myself." I shook my head and fought back tears. "No, I knew I had to do this on my own. That's why I vanished without an explanation. I needed you to stay in the dark about it while I defeated them, I couldn't risk you finding out. They would have just hurt you." I felt the tears start to run down my cheeks.
"Oh, Emmy," The Professor moved to the seat next to me on the couch and pulled me into his arms as I cried. "Everything's okay now, it's all over." He continued to hold me until I calmed down.
"I'm so sorry," I said. "I wish I hadn't had to do what I did, leave and not contact you for years. But honestly; I'd make the same choice all over again with no regrets." And I would, I had to do that to protect them. They were the closest people I had to family.
"Of course you would," I looked up in surprise as Claire spoke. "I would have made the same choice had I been in your shoes. No one blames you, right Hershel?"
"Of course no one does," His words were echoed by the children. "We're just glad to have you back."
"Alright," Claire said after a while. "Enough of all this heavy stuff, it's nearly dinnertime. Emmy, you will be having dinner with us, and I will not hear otherwise."
"Oh, that's not necessary; I really don't want to be a bother." How was she so accepting of me this quickly?
"Nonsense, it's no bother at all. Now I'm going to go get it started." With that she got up and left the room.
"Well I guess that answers that," the Professor looked at me. "Seriously Emmy, it's all water under the bridge now. Life can go back to normal. Now if you all will excuse me, I have papers that need grading." He too, got up and left the room.
I looked at Luke and Flora whose heads were close together as they appeared to confer silently. I smiled; time to prove things were really back to normal. "So Luke," I smiled at him mischievously. "How long has this been going on?"
"How long has what – I don't know what you're talking about." He looked around innocently while Flora and I laughed.
"Oh really? Well then, I guess I'm gonna have to play matchmaker for you. I seem to recall a few lovely girls who took a liking to you on our adventures." I sent a wink Flora's way and she giggled.
"What? No! Okay fine, you win." He tried to look cross with me, without much success. "This has been going on a couple of months now." Luke smiled at Flora, taking her hand.
"Aww, how sweet. Luke hasn't been giving you any trouble, has he Flora?" I smirked at Luke's expression.
"Only a bit," Luke looked at her incredulously. "Oh, I'm only kidding Luke. He's been a perfect gentleman."
"Good to hear. Let me know if he ever isn't, I'll take care of him for you." I winked at Luke as Flora laughed.
"Good, now I'm going to leave you two lovebirds alone and see if Claire could use a hand with dinner." I got up and walked towards the kitchen, where I found Claire stirring something on the stove. "Anything I could help you with Claire?" I asked her.
She chuckled, "Emmy, you're our guest; you're not required to help out with anything."
"I know, I guess I can't help but feel like I'm imposing a bit. It really has been years since I've spoken to either the Professor or Luke." I sighed, "I suppose I just don't quite believe that you're all so accepting of me so quickly." I honestly didn't. I was grateful for it, but I was still slightly confused.
"We're all accepting because you did nothing wrong. I wasn't joking when I said that I would do the same thing if I were in your position. Listen, no one's mad or upset with you, they're just happy to have you back, understand?"
I nodded. I truly did understand now. "Now then, it's been what feels like forever since I've been able to have a real girl talk with someone. So tell me, how long have you and the Professor known each other?" I gave her my best questioning look.
Claire burst into laughter. "Oh my," She said after a moment. "That's actually a hard one to answer. Truth is neither of us really knows what to say about that one."
"How does that work? If you don't mind my asking that is."
"We were separated for what was ten years for him, only a couple of months for me. You see, I was involved in the building of a time machine at the University, and well I ended up being the test subject for its first trial."
"Wait, I think I heard about that. Didn't the machine explode?"
"Well yes, it did. However before it exploded, it worked. I was sent ten years into the future, and well, I was lucky and I got to stay here." She smiled, probably remembering the day that they were reunited.
"That almost seems like one of those cheesy romance novels; come hell or high water, the main character is reunited with their true love." I smiled, how incredible for them. Hopefully someday I would be able to find my Prince Charming.
She laughed again and bent down to pull something out of the oven. "How about you? Anyone special in your life?"
"Unfortunately no. With what I've been doing these past few years there really hasn't been the time or the opportunity to meet anyone." I sighed; it had been a lonely few years.
"Well never fear; you're young, pretty, athletic, and from what Hershel has told me about you, smart as a whip. You'll find someone who appreciates all that in no time."
"Wait, he's told you about me before?"
"Of course he has silly, him and Luke both. They missed their good friend."
"Wow, I never thought that they would miss me that much."
"They sure did, they're so glad to see you. Actually, they're not the only ones. I have to admit, it will be great to have another adult female around. Flora's great, but she is still just a teenager and she has friends of her own."
I laughed, "The feeling is mutual. We'll have to go out sometime soon."
"Oh yes we will. Now, do you mind going and getting the others? Dinner's ready." She started to pull plates out of the cabinet.
"What do you plan to do now that you're back in London?" The Professor looked up from his tea. We had finished dinner a while ago and were now sitting at the table having tea and talking about anything and everything.
I smiled, "Well I've heard that there's a certain professor who still can't seem to keep things straight and could do with a little help." I looked up at him, "That is, if he'll accept his old assistant again."
"Of course you can have your job back Emmy. I've really missed your help around the office; it has been, well, a sort of disaster since you left."
I laughed, "Some things will never change, will they Professor?"
"When it comes to his office, they don't," Claire said. "I've tried organizing it for him, Rosa's tried organizing it for him, but it always seems to be a disaster again only hours later."
The Professor's cheeks flushed with embarrassment and we all started laughing. It was great to be back where I belonged.
Well there's the chapter! I hope I did Emmy justice, I know she seems almost overly confident in the games, but coming back to people that you had left years before has got to be difficult even for someone as strong as her. Hopefully we'll see plenty of Emmy in chapters to come; I like the idea of her and Claire being close friends so I plan to work with that. Other than that, I still wholeheartedly do not like what they did with Emmy in the final game at this point in time, but who knows? Maybe my opinion will change once I actually play the game. Who knows when that will be though...
Anyway, let me know what you think through a review pretty please? I'll give you cookies that I stole from the dark side, they have the BEST cookies.