Fandom: Professor Layton

Characters/Pairings: Clive/Flora

Words: 1,258

Summary: Flora likes to stare at him sometimes.

Flora likes to stare at him sometimes.

I mean, how often do you get to see a future version of your friend? Or anyone for that matter? The thought simply fascinated her, she says to herself. So she lets her gaze wander to him, eyes wide and filled with wonder.

His gaze meets hers.

"So, um," her hands start to fidget with her dress as she tries not to blush. He's probably caught her staring. And it's probably not polite to stare at someone without saying anything. (That's what the Professor would say, maybe.) So she asks, "What's it like, being from the future?"

He turns to her and laughs. Flora thinks she should be offended, but there's something about the sound that intrigues her so. "I'm not sure I know what you mean." She isn't quite sure either.

"Well, um, you know, time traveling, meeting your past self, um," she trails off, her hands tightening as she fiddles with her dress. She never had this problem with Luke before.

"Well," Future Luke starts, and Flora hopes it isn't because he's noticed how she was essentially embarrassing herself. (It probably is, though, but she pushes that thought to the back of her head.) "As for meeting my past self, I could have sworn I wasn't that small—" "Hey!" Flora hears Luke interject before the Professor hushes him, "Now, now, Luke, gentlemen shouldn't shout." Future Luke chuckles at the exchange, and Flora wonders briefly if it would be strange for her to ask him to do it again.

"Now, as for time traveling," he continues, "Well, I think you should know that," and he gestures all around at Future London.

Right. They're in the future now. Flora winces. Maybe the Professor was right about not bringing her along, she couldn't even hold a proper conversation with the way she was going. Luke would probably never ask something so silly. Then again, Luke probably wouldn't laugh at her like that. Flora doesn't decide which Luke she likes better.

"I'm sorry, I know you wanted to be with the Professor," Future Luke says, as they wander around, and Flora isn't sure if she should apologize.

"No, I mean, I did want to. But being with you is alright too." True, she would have preferred being with the Professor (who still owes her who knows how many adventures), but she would be lying if she said she didn't enjoy his company. (At least he didn't try to leave her alone all the time.)

Future Luke does that laugh again, but softer this time, and pats her head. (She's torn between asking him to stop because she's not a child, and asking him to keep going because it does feel rather nice.) "That's good to know," he flashes her a small smile. Flora blushes slightly, (she had never noticed just how handsome he was up close), and she wonders just how much has changed in the years they traveled through.

"Besides," he says, "I wanted to spend some time with you," and Flora feels her face redden. "Wh-why's that?" she asks as she tries not to look at him. How embarrassing, Flora thinks to herself, flustering over some simple comment, and she tries not to want him to say more.

He tries to meet her gaze, "Isn't wanting to spend time with a beautiful young lady enough?" He's doing that thing again, where he's being absolutely dashing and she can't do anything about it. Flora turns away, (he doesn't need to see how red she is now), and thinks that there is no way this is Luke anymore and maybe she should probably be worried, but instead she finds that she doesn't mind. (That's what worries her.)

When she turns back to look at him, he's staring at a restaurant near the river, something she can't quite read in his eyes.

"Wh-why are you doing all this? Why me?" Flora asks, confused and tired and sore all over from being dragged around in all this kidnapping business. "You would've put up the least resistance," Clive, (the name still feels so strange for her, having gotten so used to calling him Future Luke this whole time), says simply, as if how to kidnap people were common knowledge.

"You're also the least annoying," he adds, an afterthought, and Flora isn't sure if she's supposed to be flattered. She isn't sure of a lot of things when it comes to him.

"Now then," Clive starts, "if you would be so kind," and he gestures at the glass tube in the middle of the room. Flora looks up at him and he offers her his hand. (She hates how he makes it seem so inviting.) A part of her thinks she should push it away, push him away, try to escape. Another part thinks there would be no use, he'd just catch her again, where would she escape to, anyway? Her aching feet agree with the latter and she lets her hand reach for his.

"You know," she tells him as he walks her to the tube. "You don't have to keep up the gentleman act anymore."

Flora thinks she can make out a faint "I know" as he locks her in and exits the room.

Flora supposes the glass tube isn't too bad, after a while, (how much of a while, she doesn't know). It's clean, at least. It is also, however, incredibly lonely.

She wishes the Professor and Luke, (the real one, she thinks somewhat bitterly), would come and get her soon. (She also wishes Clive would at least come visit, watch over his prisoner or something, but she tries not to dwell on that too much.)

She stares at the door and waits (for who, she's not sure).

It's all over before she can even wrap her head around it all. (She's somewhat disappointed, to be honest, but ladies aren't supposed to be excited by wanton destruction disguised as an act of greater justice, and so she keeps quiet.) They manage to escape, the fortress goes down, police cars start coming from all over and soon Clive is in cuffs and being wheeled away into the back of a police car and Flora feels a strange sense of nervousness pool in the pit of her stomach.

"Wait!" she wants to scream, and so she does, and Barton looks at her, confused. "What is it, Miss?" he starts to ask, but Flora's already in front of Clive, and Chelmey tells him to give them a moment.

"I-I just wanted to say goodbye," Flora says and she looks into his eyes for one last time, (though in the back of her mind, she hopes it isn't). Clive says nothing. "It was quite the adventure," she continues, unsure. She hadn't planned much after "goodbye". Her hands start fiddling with her dress again.

Clive laughs, wearily, and Flora doesn't want to admit she's missed hearing it. "Is that an invitation for me to kidnap you again?" he asks, and Chelmey eyes them warily. Flora doesn't know.

"Don't worry," he says, though more to Chelmey than her. "I'm not going to be able to do anything like that anytime soon." He lifts his cuffed hands and lets Barton lead him into the backseat. She feels a dull ache in her chest.

"Goodbye then, Flora."

Her eyes linger on the car as it drives away, and as it turns the corner, she thinks she spots a pair of eyes looking back.

Clive likes to stare at her sometimes, too.