- Professor Layton and the Rewritten Return – Part 1
Clive pushed the heavy wooden door open, allowing a chill wind to gust past him and into the hall. Shivering, he leaned his bag on the nearby chair and closed the door. How he had once longed to feel the wind, the rain, the snow! Now, he was not so sure.
"Welcome back, Clive!"
Clive glanced up from pulling off his loafers to see Flora standing near the kitchen door, beaming down at him from the landing.
"Hello," he said, fighting the frown from his lips. Flora was a nice girl, yes, but she was a bit naïve. He wasn't sure he could handle her perkiness if forced near her too long.
"Would you like a cup of tea? The professor brought home a new blend today! It's very sweet!"
"I hate sweets," Clive replied bluntly, straightening up. He brushed a stray leaf from his jacket and it fluttered to the floor.
Damn, thought Clive. That was the wrong thing to say. "I—I mean, that would be lovely."
"A-are you sure?" Flora bit her lip anxiously. "I could make something else if you—"
"No!" Clive interrupted. "Don't make anything! Don't—don't touch anything in the kitchen!"
Flora cocked her head to the side. "Hm? Why?" She narrowed her eyes. "You didn't booby trap it or anything, did you? I wouldn't like that."
"Of course not. I wouldn't waste my energy on something like that."
"If you say so." Flora's tone was sweet as she walked away, but her eyes said I will be watching you.
Clive shivered, this time out of fear than cold. Flora could be strangely intimidating at times. He still hadn't released the notion that she could be trying to poison him under the guise of poor cooking skills.
Then again, Clive admitted, he probably deserved it. This was her way of getting back at him.
If only she weren't so passive-aggressive.
Clive sighed, then wandered into the kitchen.
"Good afternoon, Clive," the professor said, placidly folding his newspaper and placing it on the table.
"Hello, Hershel." Clive took his seat at the professor's side, mood mellowing in response to his presence.
"Hey!" Flora exclaimed, pointing a ladle threateningly at him from across the room. "I told you, don't call him that!"
Layton chuckled. "It's quite alright, Flora. He's an adult now. He may call me by whatever name he prefers."
Clive suppressed a smirk. In all honesty, he could have kept calling Hershel "professor" forever, but Flora's reaction had made the decision for him. He would stick to "Hershel" as long as he was in her vicinity.
"It's rude, professor!" Flora replied, stirring the night's stew almost viciously. "He-owes-you!" She slammed the ladle down on the counter and began vigorously chopping onions.
"Careful, my dear. You'll cut yourself," Layton replied, sipping his tea. "How was work, Clive?"
"Tedious," Clive replied with a grimace. "An entry level job is perfectly understandable, but I do believe the monotony will kill me."
"Persevere, my boy," Layton replied. Clive raised an eyebrow. Layton smiled back. "If you may call me what you like, Clive, I'm afraid I'm allowed to do the same."
"I suppose you're correct in that assumption." Clive picked up the news and perused the headlines. He snorted. "Fantastic."
"Hm?" Layton rested his teacup on the saucer. "Is something the matter?"
"No, pro—Hershel. Nothing at all. If you'll excuse me, then, I'll be going to my room." He tossed the paper back on the paper and exited.
"But your tea!" Flora called helplessly after him. She pursed her lips. "That guy…"
Layton chuckled. "Now, now, Flora. I'm sure he's just having trouble adjusting. Freedom is as terrible a burden as it is a salvation, you know." His eyes travelled back to the paper. He sighed at the front page. "I had meant to dispose of this before he came home."
"What is it?" Flora tossed the knife haphazardly into the sink and walked over, wiping her hands on her apron as she went.
"It seems the press has enjoyed making quite the spectacle of our friend Clive's release." Layton gestured to the front page.
Flora skimmed the article. "Well, I really want to say he deserves it—and I mean really—but I suppose this goes a bit too far."
"Rather." Layton frowned down at the page. "It's because of articles like this that Clive had such a hard time finding a job."
"I know a lot of this is justified, but… I wouldn't call him a psychopathic mass-murderer. I think I remember reading that there were no fatalities." Flora paused. "Er, well, the injury count looked pretty high, but I'm pretty sure that isn't a body count. R-right, professor…?"
Layton merely sighed and put his tea down. "Either way, it seems like we have quite the celebrity living with us now."