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Reflection on a Cup of Tea
Story Title: Reflection on a Cup of Tea
Rating: G
Genre: General/Slight Angst
Series: Professor Layton
Pairing(s): Reference to past Layton/Claire
Character(s): Hershel Layton
Summary: Hershel muses during afternoon tea. Post Unwound Future.
Notes: I haven't written seriously fanfiction in years. I'm trying to return to it now that I've grown a great deal as a writer. I hope you guys like it.

It’s the afternoon, and his fingers curl around the cup of tea. The cup is sickly off-white in color, and patterns of people without faces circle around it. They carry umbrellas to shield themselves from dry, painted rain drops. And not only raindrops, he muses, but from the possibility of the tea overflowing, opening searing wounds that the rain may not be able to heal.

The tea is still hot after a few minutes. He drops a tiny bit of sugar into it – not as much as his child apprentice does, but just enough to dampen the bitterness of the tea. Luckily for him, he can at least shield himself from the distaste, prevent the hot burn of the tea from massacring his taste buds.

He knows that he is unable to prevent himself from experiencing pain and that once inflicted, pain is never forgotten. Sometimes, when he sips his tea, he wishes that he could have prevented himself from feeling that pain. He wishes that it could have been easier to move on after his girlfriend’s death. Occasionally, he wishes that he had never met her, and that the pain would have never occurred.

And at the same time, he knows that he is being selfish and cruel, tapping into the darker recesses of his mind. He knows that he normally does not think this way. He knows that life cannot occur without some form of pain, and he is thankful that he has finally been able to accept it.

He gazes across at his sweetheart’s final gift to him resting on another piece of furniture. The silk top hat, now discarded to a place where he can gander at it, his fond memories arising without resurrecting old wounds and his former, grieving self.

He has been happy, he has experienced hurt, and he is finally moving on. He is living once more. And it is because of these experiences that he is human, he surmises.

And now, accidentally, he knocks over the cup of tea, the still-hot liquid cascading over the shielding umbrellas, seeing the pained faces on the people for a split second. The sickly white is ablaze with brown.

And just as quickly, the wounds disappear as the liquid drips further. The people continue on in the rain, leaving their wounds far behind them. And the white is neither sickly nor tainted, but shines once again with its ever-so-slight stains.


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