Author's Note: This is my take on Flora and Clive. Once I finished the third game, I was filled with so much inspiration that I just had to write it down. A bit of spoilers down there as well. Inspired by the story "Wolf Moon" in the Ace Attorney fandom. A big thank you for xXLittle Rose AngelXx for the edit. Enjoy~
Disclaimer: You are there wherever and whenever I write a story, you know?
Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Flora was never more astonished in her life. She was actually in London, ten years into the future, and she couldn't contain the excitement she felt. She couldn't believe her eyes.
The buildings' architectural structure was the same, yet it wasn't as sharp as it used to be. So were the other surrounding areas. Everything changed, yet Flora was still happy to be part of the investigation. It was all a beautiful dream.
A beautiful dream she never wanted to wake up from.
She was walking alongside the professor, Luke and the supposed future Luke in the future. She observed his appearance, as they explored more of the town. He became taller, with a slighter frame, and he no longer retained the baby-like face of the youth. To be replaced with something more mature and shapely.
"This is really you, Luke, in the future?" she asked, her eyes filled with the curiosity she'd been holding for a while.
"My, if it wasn't Flora. I almost didn't recognize you there." He said as he took Flora's hand and kissed it.
It all started with a smile.
A charming little bedroom it was at the hotel. Though, Flora spent more time to quarrel with Luke regarding about the equal division for the beds rather than for her to understand their situation according to Professor Layton. It's not that she was ignoring the facts, but she was just excited to explore the world once more, ignoring the dangers, that is.
They were walking through the city now, exploring the areas that were unfamiliar to them and talking to the city folk along the way. Flora couldn't help but marvel over to what exactly happened to London in the future. But a small detail kept nagging at her every now and then.
"I wonder where's my future self?" she wondered out loud.
"Any ideas, Big Luke?" the professor asked as they turned around the corner.
"I really can't say I've seen her. It's been a long time, after all, since I've left the professor."
"Oh, I see," Flora replied, "I'll just have to wait and see for myself if she's around here then."
The older Luke couldn't help but smile at her childlike innocence. Here they were investigating the mysteries of London and here she was, enjoying every bit of the moment she had.
He felt sad that she was going to get dragged in this tangled mess of lies and deception.
"What a beautiful place this is!" she exclaimed while they were just passing through Chinatown.
An exquisite town it was with bright lanterns hung from the buildings and all kinds of dragons lighting up the streets. The buildings were definitely of a structure that was very foreign to them. Was it from Asia? None of them really knew, yet the young lady was once again mesmerized at the sight before her.
The younger Luke was feeling quite the opposite.
"Flora, we're in an undergoing investigation right now. This is serious business we're having here."
A frown appeared in Flora's delicate face. The older Luke, surprised by his own feelings, somehow felt compelled to remove it from her features as soon as possible.
"Loosen up, little Luke. This is only her way of enjoying the investigation. We've made a lot of progress as well, or haven't you noticed?"
"Well, when you put it that way, you have a point there…"
First a look of surprise, then a small grin lit up her face with a grateful look in her eyes.
"Thank you." She whispered when she got a chance to walk beside him.
They continued to walk through town.
The older Luke was actually enjoying his time with the professor.
He helped them solve puzzles along their way to the Pagoda and even gave some assistance to the town locals.
They stopped in a small shop filled with toys of all kinds. Stuffed bears were piled in shelves on the backside of the room while cars and various types of toy vehicles covered up the space on the floor. A few board games and mind-boggling puzzles were carefully placed on the table to pique anyone's interest. Figurines were stocked in a wall on one side of the room, where the owner was busy polishing them.
"Please, have a look around. I hope you enjoy the toys I have in my little shop. People rarely come here to buy toys, if you must know," said the aged man.
The younger Luke bolted straight towards the cars on the floor. His eyes shining brightly as his small hands picked up the toy and raced across the room.
"Professor, I'm not a child unlike little Luke over here. I don't play these kinds of games anymore." He muttered but the professor was busy conversing with the shop owner. He shook his head and sighed as he took a look around.
"How pretty! I wonder how much this costs?" Flora wondered as she played with a few of the stuffed animals lying around the carpet.
"Do you like the stuffed animals?" He casually asked as he grabbed a stuffed bear lying around the corner and played it as the pastor in the make believe wedding Flora was setting up.
"I never had a chance to have one of these when I was a child. I wish I had them so I wouldn't always be lonely." She gave a sad smile.
He didn't know what to say at first. He gave out a quick nod and then continued the wedding ceremony the toys were having.
The professor called for them just as they finished the ceremony. Flora was deeply saddened that they couldn't stay any longer. But they should continue their search if they were to find anything useful.
They were on the streets again. Flora's eyes were wistful as she looked at the stuffed animals through the windows.
"Here," She heard a familiar voice as he tapped her shoulder. She turned around to see him holding a small stuffed bear with a red ribbon on his head. It no bigger than his hand.
"But how…?" She wanted to ask but was silenced as he gently placed the bear into her tiny fingers. Carefully tucked in in one of her dress's pockets, she hurriedly caught up to the group.
"It's out little secret, alright?" The future Luke whispered as they headed towards the Pagoda.
She couldn't help but smile once more.
With the leader missing, they headed to the Thames Arms now. A hangout to where the future professor was supposed to be. It was highly likely that he will still be there when they arrive.
Walking as quickly as they can, they reached the stairs heading towards the riverside. It was only at least two flights, but it still send a few shivers down Flora's spine.
"In need of any assistance, Flora?" the older Luke asked as he noticed the anxious expression on the lady's face.
She took his arm as he gently led her down the stairs. She couldn't help but be grateful for the boy who was helping her in her predicaments, whether big or small. And when it was the time to return to the pagoda, the future Luke was more than ready to escort the young lady.
"Thank you for helping me, again that is." She said once they reached the top of the stairs.
"No need," he smiled as he adjusted the brim of his hat.
"It's what a gentleman does."
They were at the top of the Pagoda now, in the future Professor Layton's office. With the future Professor to be revealed as a fraud. Before they knew it, the group was trapped in a steel cage of some sort while the Prime Minister was unconscious in one corner.
A battle of wits soon ensued as the genuine professor appeared before them, outside the cage, and Don Paolo's disguise was revealed.
Minutes passed or were it seconds? They were not so sure. They needed to escape the building at once.
"I…I'm scared…" Flora shivered, suddenly realizing the dangerous situation that they were really in.
"Do you trust me?" he asked. She could only nod, not trusting her voice to speak out of fear.
"Take my hand." The young gentleman said as he stretched it out for Flora. She quickly took and never let it go until they successfully escaped the guards in the Pagoda and reached the hotel. A mailman was waiting for the gentleman with news to bear. After an exchange of words between the two, the older Luke approached Flora once more.
"Flora, I have some business to attend to. I afraid I must be going."
"I understand. I'll them when they return."
He walked towards the exit, yet stopped mid-stride.
"Do you really trust me?"
"I'd be a stupid person not to trust you after all the things you've done for me."
And with that he left.
She didn't know that at the time, she made the wrong decision. She made a stupid mistake. She was stupid.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
It was the moment of truth. He was finally revealed for who he really was. It was then time to take his plan into action.
It was all a blur of movement in her eyes. One minute she was sipping tea, the next she was being dragged towards the pier.
It was Future Luke, no Clive, who was driving beside her with a stern look on his face.
She was afraid once more, unsure to what will happen as they sped off into the lake.
"What are you going to do to me?"
His face broke into an expression of surprise then returned to its cold yet calculating features. His sincere voice surprised her, though.
"You'll be safe, I promise."
Flora couldn't trust his words.
Trapped in a glass dome, of all things to happen to her. It reminded Flora too much of the dark times in her life.
Caged. Alone. Shut from the outside world.
She demanded an apology from him.
He was just finishing the lock on her little dome when he heard the sharp taps coming from her fists colliding with the glass. He slowly approached her, carefully placing his hand on the glass. She looked in his eyes, hoping for some answer that would explain everything. She placed her hand right adjacent his and hoped that it will end.
Too quickly, he removed his hand from her and went back to the surveillance room.
She'll never understand, he thought.
Oh, how wrong his thoughts were.
Explosions. Fire. Screams.
How only wanted justice, a fair end, for the people who had wronged him and so many others.
Yet one, who was not only wronged but isolated as well, decided to bring the light instead of the dark upon the people.
Clive couldn't bring himself to speak to her once more.
Her first visit went unsuccessful.
She only wanted to squeeze out the apology from him, from trapping her in that glass dome, yet there was a point in their conversation that struck a chord within her.
"Why did you do it?"
"Justice. I was wronged, and the people who caused it must be punished for what they've done."
There was bitterness and hate and anger in his voice.
She needed to tear off that mask.
It took a lot of convincing from the Inspector to arrange a special cell for Clive where they can converse freely without anyone watching. Once she persuaded them that she will pull out the siren as soon as he hurt her, Flora was led to a room down in the farthest corner at Scotland Yard.
He was lying on one of the beds placed across the wall, where a table and two folding chairs were propped up.
"I brought in some cucumber sandwiches. I hope you like them." She placed the paper bag on the table.
He didn't move an inch.
She decided to go to the direct approach and sat on the foot of his bed.
"Clive, I actually understood where you came from when you…attacked London. I… know what it felt like to lose everything."
Interest piqued, he sat up and faced her.
"I lost my parents when I was young and I was isolated in the village I lived. I stayed there for almost my whole life just waiting for someone, anyone, to get me out of the bloody tower and set me free."
She took his hand, and slowly, very slowly, she looked in his eyes. She found it, the chink in his armor. She saw him suppress the tears that was about to flow from his face.
"Clive, the professor always said that a gentleman does not make a scene in front of a lady." She opened up her arms to his, giving him a sad smile. "But everyone, even the professor, needs to cry sometimes. Everyone can cry."
It was then that he broke as he laid his head on her shoulder, with Flora stroking his hair as she sang the soft lullaby her mother used to sing to her.
Later that day, when Barton was about to pick up Flora, he was surprised to see her caressing Clive's face as he slept on her lap, by the door.
"Give them a few more minutes, Barton." The Inspector said as he passed by his assistant.
Barton didn't protest as he watched the peaceful scene before his eyes.