AN: No ownage.
Two Left Feet
There were a good many things that Luke knew how to do. And there were a good many things that he did not know how to do, but very much wanted to learn. And there were even some things that he did not know how to do and did not really care to know how to do. And on top of all of that, there were a few things that he did not know how to do and would much rather NOT learn at all, for various reasons.
This particular topic fell squarely into the last category.
He had come home from school a bit later than normal, having stayed to talk to a teacher regarding an upcoming project. Flora's shoes were by the door, so he knew she had beaten him home, and there was a note from the professor saying that he had gone out and would be home around dinnertime.
But he was a little surprised to hear music playing, coming from the professor's study. He knew there was a record player in there, and every now and then Layton would put on some orchestral piece of music to enjoy while he worked. He was a great fan of the classical composers—Beethoven and Mozart were two of his favorites.
Which made it extremely funny when Luke decided to play a little prank and switched one of his records for something a bit more modern and with a lot heavier bass line. Layton had nearly gone through the roof when the first cymbal crash hit. Not in anger, but more because his chair was vibrating.
But if the professor was out, and he was standing here, there was logically only one person who could be playing anything. Luke followed the music, and found that he was right: Flora was in there, listening to the music and moving around the room. She was up on her toes, holding her arms out at her sides, and twirling slightly, her feet moving in a little pattern.
Her eyes were closed when he entered, but he stepped on a certain floorboard that had a tendency to squeak loudly, and she stopped. Her eyes opened, and she looked at him blankly for a moment. Luke half expected her to be embarassed or upset at his intrusion, but to his surprise, she broke out in a wide smile. "Luke! You have perfect timing!"
He was a bit startled by her reaction. "I do?"
"Yes!" she darted across the room and took his hands. "I need a partner!"
Luke spared a moment to be amazed at how much she had come out of her shell since she had left St. Mystere and come to live with them, but he quickly dismissed the admittedly-positive thought and asked, "A partner? For what?"
She pulled him towards the center of the room. "Dance!"
"Dance??" Luke nearly tripped, both from surprise and from his foot catching on the loose edge of the carpet. He tugged his hand free and waved his hands in a warding gesture. "What? Wait a minute, Flora! I don't think that's a very good idea—"
…oh great. Now she was giving him The Look. The one with the big eyes. The one that usually meant that it didn't matter what she was asking of him, he was going to wind up doing it. Finish cleaning up? Sure. Run an errand for her? Absolutely. Juggle chainsaws? Why not. Thankfully, she didn't use The Look too often, or else he would have been in big, big trouble.
Defeated, he sighed. "I don't know how to dance."
Flora brightened. "It's all right! I can teach you!" She stepped up close and took his hands, putting one of them at her waist and holding the other in one of her hands. Her other hand went to his shoulder, and she smiled. "There! That's the way! Now we just move to the music."
"…how?" Luke asked, feeling incredibly stupid.
"It's a waltz, so it's in three. So you take three steps, right along with the beats in the music."
Luke really didn't want to have to point out that while he had many skills, music had never been one of them. Beats? What beats? But before he could think of a nice way to ask that question, he found himself being pulled along by a very enthusiastic Flora. It was only by some very quick thinking that he managed to not stomp all over her feet.
Or fall on his face.
Still, she was laughing, which he took to be a good sign. The question then became whether she was laughing because she was having fun or because she was dancing with him, or because his sorry excuse for dancing was just too hilariously awful for her to keep a straight face.
Whatever the case, it was absolutely humiliating.
Just when Luke thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, he tripped again. This time, it was over a combination of his own two left feet…and one of Flora's. He heard her let out a yelp, but that was all there was time for before they both went tumbling to the ground. Luke landed on his back, and Flora landed on top of him, his arm instinctively grappling at her waist.
Great. This just kept getting better and better. But to be thankful for small blessings, at least no one was home to see it. Which reminded him—where was the professor, anyway?
…oh. There he was. In the doorway.
And he did not look terribly pleased.
It was only then that Luke realized their relative positions: Flora was on top of him (and she was momentarily too dazed to move), and he was holding onto her for dear life.
And the record had scratched to a stop, so there was no music in the room.
This looked, to say the least, very very bad.
Luke jumped to his feet, knocking Flora to the floor as he did so. He started waving his arms around frantically. "This isn't what it looks like, Professor! Honest! We weren't—I mean, we were dancing, or rather, she was dancing and I was trying and failing miserably, but anyway, then I tripped and—"
A hand on his shoulder silenced him. "Professor, I was trying to teach Luke to dance. He tripped, and Ifell with him," Flora said calmly, though her face was a bit red. "He's…well, he's not a very good dancer. But that's all there is to it. I give you my word on that."
Oh, that was a nice statement. Professor Layton was far too much of a gentleman to question the word of a lady like that. Still, he had that look about him—the one that was usually reserved for when Luke got in trouble. The one that said Luke was going to be kept very busy for the next several days, possibly with some tasks that were decidedly less than pleasant.
While this silent exchange was going, Flora moved to the record player and changed discs, slipping the classical music record back into its slip cover and selecting a new one. The music that started up had a lot of heavy sounds to it, and it made Luke jump. But Flora bounded back over with a smile. "That first one was a waltz. This is a tango!"
PS. ...random observation, but why do all the fics I write for this game have titles that begin with the same letter? THIS IS ANOTHER CANDYLAND FIC, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTER T! :D Anyway, this plotless story was inspired by a prompt on the exchange post on the Professor Layton LJ comm.
Also, my word-count on this story is win, for it is 1234 words. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!