AN: I decided to just put this one here as a second part because it's a quasi-follow-up. Might as well keep them together, ne? Now, behold as I quietly indulge in my little ship. I don't own Professor Layton!


Practice Makes Perfect

"Luke?"

At the sound of his name, Luke jumped slightly and glanced up from his book towards the door. "Oh, Flora," he said. "I didn't hear you come in."

She crossed the room, holding a covered plate in her hands. "I'm not interrupting, am I?"

Luke couldn't help but privately think that Flora never bothered him. She had always been a very sweet girl, and time had certain been kind to her as the awkwardness of adolescence had melted into the first lovely bloom of adulthood.

Granted, the same could more or less be said for Luke himself—he certainly wasn't the same excitable child he had been when he had first met her at the top of the mysterious tower in St. Mystere. They had both grown up over the past few years.

He didn't say all of that aloud, though. Instead, he just replied with, "Not at all!" He did spare a moment to mentally kick himself—whenever he talked to her, his mind seemed to go void of all intelligent thought, leaving only inane pleasantries, random comments, and small talk about the weather or the professor's latest puzzle. It was embarrassing, to say nothing of frustrating. "What can I do for you?"

Flora shifted nervously, then lowered the plate to the table beside him. "I was wondering if you would be willing to do me a favor…and try this?" She lifted the cover from the plate, revealing several small pastries. "I…I just made them."

Luke couldn't keep himself from hesitating. The last time he had been subjected to eating Flora's culinary masterpieces, both he and the professor had wound up in the hospital. It had been weeks before Luke's skin had returned to its normal color, and Professor Layton still twitched at the sound of pencil sharpeners. Flora hadn't cooked for them since.

But…that had been quite a long time ago. And the pastries did look quite good. Besides, the professor was an adamant advocate of being a gentleman where the young woman—or any woman, really—was concerned. And Flora seemed so earnest about it, standing there and flushing prettily, wringing her hands as she waited for his answer.

…surely one bite wouldn't hurt, would it?

"All right," he said with a nod. "I'll try."

Flora's face lit up. "Really?"

"Yes," Luke smiled, mentally steeling himself. He picked one of the delicacies up and hesitated for a mere second before he popped it into his mouth and started to chew.

The taste rolled slowly over his tongue—the pastry itself was flaky, and the filling was primarily lemon, with honey and nutmeg and just a tiny hint of powdered sugar. He chewed for a moment before he swallowed, letting the last of the sweet-sour taste linger for a moment.

When he glanced back up, Flora was watching him closely; her eyes shone with hope, probably because he hadn't immediately fallen over and didn't seem to be growing ill. "Well?"

"It's…it's wonderful," he breathed without really thinking about it; he felt his face redden as he looked at her. Wow, she sure was pretty when she flushed like that.

"I've been practicing," Flora smiled shyly.

At a loss for what else to do or say, Luke smiled. "Can I have another one?"

Her smile widened. "Please do. I…I made them especially for you."

As he happily popped another of the tiny lemon pastries into his mouth, Luke couldn't help but feel like the most awkward person in the world. But maybe it wasn't so bad.


PS. …plot? What plot? You were expecting a plot? We don't need no stinkin' plot! And yes, guilty ship here XD THE TRUTH COMES OUT! Thanks for reading, all! Much love!