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January 2015
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Sam Cyber Cat [userpic]

Title: Number One Apprentice
Chapter: Inspector Chelmey
Rating: G
Genre: Friendship
Series: Professor Layton
Pairing(s): Established Chelmey/Amelie
Character(s): Inspector Chelmey, Constable Barton, Luke Triton, Monica, Colby
Summary: Chelmey chooses to get two birds with one stone by announcing Luke joining the ranks and Barton's promotion in one meeting. Shame that Chelmey isn't really very good at emotional situations.
Notes: This chapter has Luke as the apprentice of Inspector Chelmey, as suggested by Imagine Worlds on FFN and PL-Fan111 on dA. Set several years post-PL3, when Luke is an adult. Contains mild spoilers for the end of PL3.

Chelmey observed the crowd in his small office with his usual disinterested frown. It wasn't really much of a crowd, just Barton, Colby, Monica (the only person in Scotland Yard who could surpass Chelmey at not being able to abide time wasting, judging from her own frown) and Luke. Grosky was supposed to be there as well, but urgent business had called. Lucky for some.

Clearing his throat, Chelmey began, “Now then, I'm sure you all know why we're here, so let's keep it simple. It isn't every day that someone gets brought onto the force here at Scotland Yard. We only take the best of the best.”

“Here, here, Inspector!” chimed Barton, who shut up and covered his mouth when Chelmey glanced in his direction.

“Yes, well all of the formalities have already been dealt with,” Chelmey went on, “Technically speaking, this young lad is already one of us. But given how much he did to help us back when he was a kid, combined with how hard we all know he's worked to get here now that he's grown up, I think it's only fair that we give Luke a proper greeting. So go on, all of you clap.”

The room was filled with the odd combination of the overly energetic clapping of Barton & Colby and Monica's half-hearted “is this over yet?” approach. It died down after a few moments and Chelmey beckoned Luke forward to say a few words.

The young man puffed his chest out in the same way that Barton would do when addressed by Chelmey. Very eager to make the best impression he could, so that they'd all know he was going to do his job as well as it was possible to do a job.

“Th-thank you everyone,” Luke stammered, “I really appreciate that you're taking me on. And I'd like to especially thank Inspector Chelmey for encouraging me to go through the proper training and not giving me any special treatment because of my past. I feel that I've learned a lot and will, um, continue to learn a lot in future.” There was a pause in which Barton & Colby both clapped again, before Luke continued, “Scotland Yard is very important to me. I didn't realise that until after my family had moved to America. Because before that I just wanted to be the Professor's apprentice, without really thinking about what that even meant. It turned out that, although I did want to be a gentleman, I didn't really want to be an archaeologist at all and I'd never been following the Professor for that reason. Being a gentleman is great, but you also need to work out what you want to do for the rest of your life. And what I wanted to do was help people. Which is exactly what I've seen Scotland Yard do so many times in the past. So, well, what I'm trying to say is, thank you all for being such a good influence on me.”

After letting the others clap for a few minutes, Chelmey grumbled, “Good speech, very moving. And it brings us onto another matter that I'd gathered us all here to announce. Luke might be a beginner here, but I have high hopes for him and because of that want him to work with the best. So, not to toot my own horn or anything, but he's going to be working alongside me as something of an apprentice, I suppose.”

“That's great, Inspector!” Barton cheered, and then he turned to Luke and added, “The two of us will be working together.”

“I hadn't finished, Barton,” growled Chelmey.

“Sorry Inspector!” gulped Barton.

“As I was saying,” Chelmey continued, “Luke will be my subordinate from now on. But that also means that another member of our force will be getting a long overdue promotion. This is the first time this news will have reached your ears, because Amelie said it would be a nice surprise, but our own Constable Barton will from now on be known as a Sergeant.”

There was more clapping, though it soon died out as they all realised how shocked Barton looked.

“M-me? A Sergeant?” he checked.

“That's what I said, isn't it?” replied Chelmey.

“But I'm not sure I'm Sergeant material. With all due respect, Inspector, I feel that maybe I'm... um...” Barton trailed off.

“You're good enough. I'm telling you you're good enough, so you are. I think you've been ready for the job for a long time and Luke joining us was the perfect time to make it official,” Chelmey firmly assured.

“But what, um, what if I make mistakes?” Barton asked.

“Then I'll clip you 'round the ear, same as if you made mistakes before,” Chelmey promised him, “And you will make mistakes. But you'll learn. It's time to let someone else get the first leg on the ladder, Barton.”

“Do you want us to go?” Luke cut in, feeling that this might be better off private.

“Nah, it's all right. Actually, yeah, why not? Never had much time for big speeches. You all know what you need to know,” Chelmey muttered, “Monica, I'd appreciate it if you could show Luke to the staffroom, so he knows where to hide when I don't need him to work. Not that there'll be much time for not working around here. Now off you go, all of you.” The group filed out, with Barton taking the rear, seeming kind of dejected. Before he could make it all the way out the door, Chelmey called, “Hey, Barton, you gonna be all right with this?”

Barton sniffed and nodded; “I suppose so, Inspector.”

“Don't think of it as... look, don't be sad, all right? It's a compliment that I think you're good enough. And everyone else does as well. You can't be under my feet forever, you've always known that,” he mumbled.

“Yes, Inspector. And I'm glad that Luke- ...I mean Constable Triton will be learning from you just like I have. It's just all so sudden,” replied Barton.

“Maybe I should have had a word with you beforehand,” Chelmey sighed.

“No, I think it was better that way,” Barton answered, “And I'll still do my best so that I don't make you look bad.”

“See that you do,” grumbled Chelmey.

Barton saluted then made to leave for the second time.

“I hadn't finished!” Chelmey shot.

“Sorry Inspector!” squeaked Barton, as if they hadn't gone through this a million times before.

“Amelie's making beef stew with dumplings to celebrate your promotion, since she knows it's your favourite. So we'd appreciate it if you came over. Right, now you can go,” he dismissed, looking down at his paperwork so he could pretend that he was pre-occupied with it.

“Thank you, Inspector! Please tell Amelie that I'm always happy to be on the receiving end of her wonderful cooking and will definitely be there,” piped Barton, “And, um, I'm really thankful to you as well for all of this-”

“Dismissed, Sergeant,” grumbled Chelmey.

“Of course!” One final salute and Barton was on his way.

When he was sure Barton was gone, Chelmey sighed to himself. It wasn't really a miserable sigh, but it didn't quite hit the happy notes either. It was more a sigh of acknowledgement that Scotland Yard was changing. For the best, of course. And he was watching it grow with something of a silent pride.

He was sure that Barton and Luke would both do well. They had learned and were learning from the best, after all.