A Feminine Unmasking.
AN: Yep, I know, another Dessy fic. I can hear all of your sighs... but this one has a twist. GENDER BENDING! Just because I'm going through a series of 'What If?' gender bending thoughts... This is also a little cracky (or at least, I am!), since the thought is sort of... well, what can I say? But we all know that Descole acts like such a girl. And he played the part of Angela so well... I also mean no offense to anyone reading this! Please don't take this too seriously! Written in Layton's POV (See, dear readers, a change! I've replaced Dessy and Raymond with Dessy and Layton! I can hear your cheers...). No romance included at all, by the way. Just thought I should mention it. Oh, and this does not tie in with any of my other stories do far.
Disclaimer: Well OF COURSE I own Professor Layton! What, did you think I didn't? Pfft, you people... Too smart for your own good... STOP SPOILING MY FUN!
The figure at the other end of the room turned. Cape, feather boa, hat, mask... Theatrical, yes. But did that actually prove my suspicion?
I could almost see his raised eyebrow. The look on his face was far too knowing. 'He' already knew why I was here.
"I was expecting you a long time ago, Layton." He crossed the room, closer now. I tipped my hat slightly, noticing, as though for the first time, how his jacket came in at the waist far more than it should. For a man, of course.
"I can't say that I know why," I answered. He barely repressed a snort, but his face suddenly became curiously blank.
"You came here for a reason," he stated matter-of-factly, "Not just for a pleasure trip, knowing you. What is it that you want?"
Now, was it just me, or did the pitch of his voice seem a little bit strained?
"No," I said, allowing my neutral face to slip on. "I didn't. May we sit down?" I looked around the room. It had nothing but the chair in front of the desk. But Descole was already moving towards the door. He opened it, stood aside from the doorframe, and then gestured for me to go through. Before I even knew what I was doing, I had opened my mouth.
Descole stared at me. I slammed my jaw shut, as though trying to swallow the words back and trap them inside. Of course, this was not to be. He closed the door again, slowly, and then turned to face me.
"I'm sorry?" he questioned.
It was best, now, I supposed, to just come right out and say it. If I was wrong... well, I'd take the consequences of that later. "You're a woman," I said, "A very well disguised woman, I might add."
I could tell now that I was on to something. This was definitely not a typical Descole reaction. Maybe, "WHAT? HOW DARE YOU?" might have been more accurate. A bit of a sword-slashing moment perhaps. 'Am I?' was just too... well, it didn't speak Jean Descole.
"Yes," I answered, preparing to take the bull by the horns, "You are. You've been dropping subtle hints all the time. And your clothes are obviously very well thought out. People glance at the suit and already expect a man. Then there's the feather boa - a theatrical accessory that's often considered feminine, the cape covers up most of you in the long run, the mask hides the majority of your face, and the hat is high enough to be hiding something-"
The expression on the other's face seemed torn between amusement and outrage. "And your hat isn't?" Descole interrupted, but I decided to ignore him.
"Moreover, your voice - very well done, might I add - sounds forced. Strained, if you like, but only a little. And then there is your paranoia about your mask being removed. Perhaps it could uncover your true self?" Descole's expression seemed to have settled on innocence now, but I plunged on, "Then there is my own memory. I try to remember a brother, but all I can really remember is a sister. 'An older sister', my mind says. Tell me, Descole, who are you trying to hide?"
The silence in the room was absolute. I held my breath as Descole stared straight at me for what seemed like a millennia. Then 'he' sighed.
"Let it not be said that the esteemed Hershel Layton is not an astute observer! You have the right to know."
The cape fell in a crumpled heap at 'his' feet. Then 'he' reached up and removed 'his' hat. A cascade of dark blonde waves followed, and then Descole reached for the mask. I felt my stomach tighten as it was removed...
And a female face looked back at me.
Descole smiled, and she brushed her hair out with her fingers. The dramatic change in her voice as she spoke was startling. "I thought that a gentleman wasn't supposed to stare."
It was almost sarcastic - Jean Descole hadn't left with the mask - and I averted my gaze elsewhere, already thinking about the likenesses she shared with our parents.
Tall, fair, and frankly rather beautiful, she already reminded me of the few photos I had managed to scavenge of my birth mother. What unnerved me, however, was that she shared the exact same eyes as our father.
But that wasn't nearly as frightening as the fact that I had actually been right - Jean Descole was female.
"I trust this is what you came for," she said, gesturing at herself. I looked back up again, regaining my gentlemanly composure.
"Yes," now that I could see her eyes, it seemed all the worse than when they were behind the mask - they followed my every move. "Thank you. But now I really must be off." She looked faintly amused, "Goodbye... It's older sister now, isn't it?"
"You will keep this confidential?" she asked, but she was smiling.
"You have my word. And a gentleman never breaks his word."
A few weeks later, Luke and I ran into her on the street.
She was dressed like a perfectly normal civilian - wearing a dress of all things - and Luke had never seemed so confused.
But then, who couldn't be after the greetings we exchanged.
I invited her for a cup of tea in a nearby coffee shop, and we were finally able to talk - as much as we could with Luke beside us.
I have thought of her as an incredible actress ever since, and I can honestly say that there is no one else I would rather have for a sister.
AN: Yup! I have totally gone on crack! I also hope that I didn't make any of the characters go OOC. But you know... Gender bending can count as an excuse! Reviews are appreciated! And loved! And cherished! Forever, mind you!
Peace is a blessing, so treasure it always!