Fandom: Professor Layton
Word Count: 990
Genre: Implied romance
Disclaimer: I don't own Professor Layton. Or his top-hat of awesome.
Teaser: You look like Luke, but you aren't him. You are a stranger to me. Implied Legal/Flora
He looked similar, to be sure. The same eyes, the same hair color, the same face (albeit older), and even similar clothing. Apparently he had never gotten rid of that favorite blue hat of his. In terms of appearance, it was as if Luke had been taken and, for lack of a better description, stretched out so that he was taller and thinner.
But still, she was wary.
When the Professor and Luke (the younger Luke, to be specific) left for a bit, she was left alone with the young man who shared Luke’s name and appearance.
And he was looking at her.
Flora busied herself by moving around the home she shared with her guardian and her adoptive brother. She tidied random bits of clutter, straightened books and ornaments, dusted a bit here and there, and took care of a few stray dishes that had been left in the sink. There were all menial jobs, but it kept her moving around and occupied.
Unfortunately, he saw fit to follow her around as she did all of these things. And while she was washing those dishes, he actually came right up next to her and stood there with her, leaning back against the counter to watch as she went about it.
Finally, she looked directly at him. “Forgive me for being a poor hostess. Is there anything you need?”
“Nothing. I’m fine,” he said with that damnable smile of his.
She paused with her hands still in the sink. “Why are you following me?”
“Why are you trying to avoid me?” he asked in lieu of a reply.
She stared at him for a moment, then turned back down to wash the last teacup. “You are not the Luke I know,” she said finally, drying her hands on the towel that always hung beside the sink.
It was an interesting position to be standing in while having a conversation like this. They were practically standing shoulder to shoulder. He was looking out towards the kitchen and the hallway while she gazed out the window towards the alley in the back.
“You are the person Luke grows up to become, but right now, I don’t know you,” she said, trying to explain herself better. “You are a stranger to me.”
“You don’t trust me just yet.” It was a statement, not a question.
“No, I do not. No matter what the Professor might think, I do not trust you. I…I can’t trust you yet.” That was hard to admit, but it was the fact of the matter.
There was a pause before he actually chuckled; the sound made her insides clench, though she was not entirely sure if it was from anger or something else. “I had nearly forgotten how hard it was for you to trust people.” He tilted his head back to look at her with a smile. “That will get easier, I assure you.”
Somehow, she almost wished that he would be a little bit less understanding. She thought that it might make it a bit easier, considering that she wasn’t entirely sure how she felt about the whole thing.
Flora started when she felt a hand touch hers on the counter. And all she could do was stare as this older Luke took her hand in his, raised it, and pressed a kiss to the back of her hand.
She had always seen gentlemen do that to ladies at parties she had gone to with her father, but she had been too little, and usually simply received a pat on the head.
It was sort of startling to experience it firsthand now and find that it sent a little spark of electricity through her at the contact. Her heart sped up, and she was sure that she was blushing.
But most importantly (and most embarrassingly), she was unable to tear her eyes away from Luke, who was still holding her hand, still bending over it, though now he was smiling up at her with that same disarming smile that had undoubtedly melted far harder hearts than hers.
He gave her fingers a squeeze. “I do hope that someday I will prove worthy of your trust.” It was only then that he straightened back to his full height (which was maybe half a head taller than she was) and released her hand.
Flora stared at him for a moment, then looked back down at the sink. “May I ask a question?”
“…are you a part of my future?” she said after a moment. “Any part at all?” She already knew the answer, at least in part. He had told her that she would get over a few of her mental roadblocks as time went on, but to what extent was he…
She should have known that there was no way he would just give her a straight answer. Instead, he just shrugged and turned to lean against the counter again. “I think it would be best if I didn’t tell you.”
“Why not?” she asked. It wasn’t petulant, but merely curious.
Luke tilted his head back to look at the ceiling. “Because if I tell you, then it might change some of the things that haven’t happened yet. And there are some things…” he closed his eyes, “…that I do not want to see changed when I go back.”
Seeing that look on his face, and hearing the way that he said that, Flora wondered if maybe, just maybe…well, perhaps she could take a guess as to what it was that he was so desperate to not see change by his actions while he was here in the past.
Flora glanced back down at the sink. “Luke…” she said slowly. “…would you like some tea?” It seemed like a silly thing to ask, but…
She felt his eyes on her.
And when he answered, she could practically hear that confounded smile of his. “Tea sounds lovely.”