AN: Written for the first-ever fanwork exchange on the Professor Layton LJ community. Something about this game prompts me to create titles that either make liberal use of alliteration…or bad puns. I have no idea why. But anyway, on we go! I don't own Professor Layton!
Tall's Well that Ends Well
When Professor Layton agreed to take in Flora Reinhold, the Golden Apple of St. Mystere, Luke took the whole thing in stride. He knew how to be a gentleman (courtesy of the Professor's lessons), and Flora seemed to be a very nice, if shy girl. And she was only a couple of years older than him. It seemed that they were close enough in age that they could get to be friends.
All in all, it seemed a fairly nice arrangement. It would be nice to have someone his own age around. Not to malign the Professor's company, but there were some things that Luke was positive the Professor just wouldn't understand by simple virtue of the fact that the man was an adult.
And adults just didn't get it. Even brilliant, kind, understanding adults like the Professor.
Unfortunately, it got worse when Luke realized that not only was Flora a very pretty girl, but she was also sweet, kind, smart, pleasant to talk to…and he found that he blushed quite red whenever she was anywhere near him or said certain things to him. Things like… "Good morning."
And as he got a bit older and had The Epiphany that girls were, in fact, very interesting creatures, he came to a bit more solid of a realization on why his behavior seemed so different around Flora. It was one of those things the other boys at school always discussed when talking about girls.
He had a crush.
A big one, to be precise.
And judging by the strange way in which Flora blushed and scurried around him, he wanted to conclude that perhaps she returned it? It would certainly make things a lot easier!
At long last, and after much internal debate on the subject, Luke finally screwed up his nerve and asked the Professor. And he was stunned to realize that there did exist a puzzle that not even the great Professor Layton could solve.
A puzzle called women.
But the Professor did have a bit of other advice to offer, and Luke took that to heart. And he asked Flora if she might be interested in going for a walk? She accepted immediately, and by the time they returned things seemed a bit clearer. Especially if the shy kiss she pressed to his cheek was any indication.
But there was still one thing that bothered Luke. Namely…
Flora was taller than him.
It was a silly thing to be bothered over, of that he was quite sure. But it seemed like everywhere else he looked and with every other couple he saw, the male of the pair was taller than the female. Yet Flora still had a good half a head's height on him.
In other words, he had to get up on his tiptoes a little bit to kiss her. Either that, or she had to dip her head. He took to standing on the level above her if they were on stairs or any sort of incline. And it didn't change the fact that she was sweet and wonderful. It was just the principle of the thing!
Flora never mentioned it, and Luke never said a word about it…to her. But he did mutter something about it to the Professor, and he was told in reply that girls tended to mature faster than boys, so he shouldn't worry about it. There was still time. "You'll catch up soon, my boy," were the Professor's warm words of encouragement.
That did help a bit.
But it didn't get rid of that nightmare where Luke was shrinking rather than growing. By the time he woke up from that lovely little dream, he was barely three inches tall, and Flora was holding him in the palm of her hand. He spent a few days following that dream in an extremely foul mood.
Still, time went by, and Luke and Flora grew closer and more fond of each other…while the Professor offered counsel when asked and kept a discreet eye on them both.
And then it happened.
One day, they wandered down to a park near the home they shared with the Professor. A small creek ran through this park, and it was to the edge of this creek that they took a seat to enjoy the sunshine that marked this lovely day.
After they had been sitting and talking a while, Flora got a rather impish look in her eyes and stood up. She slipped off her shoes and ran down to the water and stepped in, barefoot. Her skirt was short enough that there was no immediate danger of her clothing getting wet. She laughed and splashed a little. "It feels nice!"
Luke found himself momentarily dumbstruck by the sight of her, laughing and blushing slightly and dancing barefoot in the clear water. But he gave himself a quick shake and decided that it wouldn't hurt anything, and stood to slip off his own shoes and socks. Even gentlemen were entitled to have fun and do silly things now and then; Professor Layton had said as much one night after the three of them had gotten into a bit of a frosting fight while baking cookies.
In a moment, he stepped into the water, and found that she was right. It was cool, and did feel nice on toes that had spent the better part of the day enclosed in footwear. And in spite of himself, he couldn't help but follow Flora's lead and splash around a little.
They probably made for a rather silly sight: two teenagers playing in the water. But it was fun.
Suddenly, Flora stepped closer and rose up on her toes to press a quick kiss to Luke's cheek. She had been doing things like that frequently, and this time got the same reaction as every other time.
He blushed bright red and nearly fell over.
But he righted himself in record time and looked down at Flora with the intention of hopefully saying something intelligent, possibly sweet, and—
Wait just a minute.
He looked…down at her?
Luke made a quick reassessment of the scene. They were standing in the water, barefoot on even ground, facing each other…and Flora's head was tilted back to look at him. He was having to turn his chin down slightly to see her face.
"Luke?" she said softly. Her shy smile had faded slightly, her blush had grown deeper, and now she looked worried. "Did I do something wrong? I'm sorry…"
He shook his head and put one hand lightly on top of her head, then kept that hand at that same level and moved it slowly through the air towards himself. It ran into his face, just below his nose.
It seemed to click, and realization dawned on Flora's face. "You're taller than me."
Luke blinked once, twice, three times (a lady).
Then he did something completely ungentlemanly and unseemly and plenty of other un-thing-ly's.
He thrust both fists triumphantly into the air and let out a loud "WOO HOO!"
…and then he lost his balance and fell backwards, landing squarely in the water with a splash.
Flora couldn't hold her laughter in. She laughed while he stood up and shook the water from his hands, looking helplessly at the enormous wet blotches covering most of his clothing. "Oh, Luke…" she shook her head, obviously amused as she stepped towards him…
This time, the kiss she gave him was right on the lips.
PS. The prompt I got was for a Luke/Flora fic about their height difference. I replied with NO PLOT WHATSOEVER, WHEEEEEEE!! :D Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!