Paris, ville de l'amour. Nodame had heard that name enough times to start feeling disappointed because it hadn't worked its magic on Chiaki and her. Well, it had, in a way, given that he loved the city and she found it to be an amazing and beautiful place to live but that wasn't exactly what the pamphlets advertised.
She was sitting down on a bench in a park reading the pamphlets again. Perhaps she was doing something wrong and wondered what could that be, what she could do to improve the pacing of things. Maybe she needed more help than just the beauty that surrounded her.
Nodame stood up and started walking back home, still thinking about it. In several films and television shows she'd seen the characters preparing a romantic dinner. She thought about it for a second and then discarded the idea; Chiaki's cooking skills were far superior than hers. In truth, she couldn't offer him a sophisticated dish that would please him, and her intuition told her onigiri wasn't up to the task. It was good to eat and sustain the body, but it wasn't romantic, not even if she drew happy faces and hearts with syrup.
Suddenly, she stopped. Something had called her attention: a book on the other side of a window. It was among several others but it was bright red with cream-colored letters on the cover and hearts in a darker red all over. It took her a moment to understand the title, but as soon as she did, she beamed. The book was called Easy Cooking: Aphrodisiacs. Then, she noticed she was standing in front of a bookstore.
She had an idea.
First, she went into the bookstore and bought the book. Second, she went looking for a photocopying machine. Third, she went straight home.
"Nodame!" Chiaki called later that afternoon. "What is this?" he asked holding up the sheet of paper Nodame had left in his kitchen.
"Oh," she said, innocently, "it's just a recipe I found and I thought it would be nice to eat that."
He looked at her as she didn't believe she was innocent. "And you want me to prepare it."
She smiled and tilted her head. "Yes~! I'll set the table!"
Chiaki read the recipe again. "Well," he said after a moment, "it looks easy enough and I do have all the ingredients. You better set the table nicely."
"Thank you, Chaki-senpai! You won't regret it!" she said thinking of the bag of scented candles she'd bought.
He snorted and left.
Nodame was pleased. Her plan was working smoothly and it would probably be successful. Love and romance, she had realized, needed the effort of both of them to work, after all.