(A/N: My first attempt at a Professor Layton fic – don't kill me. Enjoy!)

Summary: And even though this was Luke, he wasn't the Luke I knew. He had changed somehow, and it made him feel like a stranger.

Disclaimer: The "Professor Layton" series is owned by Level 5 and Nintendo. As you can plainly see, I am neither.

Darkness

A Flora/Clive Fanfic

by Jill Diamond

Whenever someone would say "quake in their boots", I would now know exactly what they meant. My feet literally shook as I lifted them for each tentative step down the long, dark tunnel. I kept one hand pressed against the cold wall on my side, and the other clutching Big Luke's to make sure he was still there.

"I can't see a thing..." I mumbled, more to myself than Luke. My eyes kept straight ahead, though all I perceived was a constant stream of black from all angles. I couldn't even make out the large curl of hair that dangled down from my forehead.

As we walked, I felt something brush lightly against my arm. I stiffened at the touch, but I no longer felt the need to squeal when I discovered it was simply his arm. Heat flooded to my cheeks.

"Um...Luke?"

"Oh! Sorry, Flora!" He instantly erected his arm as before, realizing his mistake. I blew a long, slow breath out into the dark and continued to walk. But we probably had not gone fifty meters before I felt his sleeve brush against mine again.

"Luke." It was not a request this time – here in the dark it was seriously making me uncomfortable.

But he didn't retract this time. He simply drew closer to me, and I heard him whisper, "Oh, Flora, no need to be scared." Our shoulders touched in the dark, and my back squirmed involuntarily. Oh, how I wished I was with the Professor and my Luke. I wouldn't have felt nearly as scared with them. And even though this was Luke, he wasn't the Luke I knew. He had changed somehow, and it made him feel like a stranger. I wanted the Luke I was used to. The Luke with the giant smile and the braces dropped about his knees. The Luke who still followed the Professor around no matter what.

I was just about to protest before he made my body turn stiff again. I felt his fingers graze against my cheek as he apparently reached for a strand of my hair and tucked it behind my ear. Now I was frightened for all new reasons. Luke had most definitely changed.

I could barely feel his breath on my cheek. In the blackness he seemed to be all around me at once. I tried to free my hand of his grasp.

"Please, Luke-"

His hand let mine free, but it only attached itself to the small of my back, ever so gingerly, and made my skin prickle. More squirming.

"Shh..." I heard (or rather felt) him breathe. I tried to wriggle away, but I only backed into a wall, causing myself to yelp. It bounced off the tunnel in the dark, and hit my eardrums again as an eerie echo. Luke slid his hand from my back to the dip in my waist, and let the other linger around my cheek. He was truly frightening me now. All those years without the Professor had really taken a toll on him – he was acting in no way gentlemanly.

"W-we need to keep moving. Those Family goons will be here any-"

His breath closed in on me, and I felt in the darkness his lips press onto the corner of my mouth. My words caught, and my entire body went into defense. How could the sweet boy I knew from ten years ago turn into someone like this? I leaned forward in an intentional stumble, and prayed that my target was where I hoped it was.

"OOF!"

Direct hit.

"Oh, Luke, I'm sorry! Was that your foot?"

His arms retracted back into the darkness, as did his breath, and I found myself able to relax as I listened to him moan in pain. His voice sounded from lower than usual, and I assumed that he was doubled over.

"Luke?" I asked again, hoping that I hadn't hurt him too much.

There was a moment of silence before he replied curtly, "Just fine. We should go." His hand reached around my wrist more aggressively than before, and the rest of the way he nearly dragged me down the dark tunnel. My heart beat from that point wasn't quite regular until I saw the Professor and Luke again.

The real Luke.

The End

(A/N: As you can probably tell, I don't like the idea of Clive and Flora together at all. Anyway, hope you enjoyed!)