Does anyone even read my stories any more? Lmao, anyway, this was written a few months ago, and it's just better for everyone if you go check out my deviantart. Same username.
The ring of the bell above the shop's door was loud in the empty space. Arthur looked up from his perch atop the back counter. From his position he wasn't able to see anyone, though if he leaned for enough it was a possibility. After a few moments of complete silence Arthur shook his head, sure in that he was only hearing things.
'Then again,' he thought, 'I do work the graveyard shift, and no one in their right mind would be desperate enough to show up at this time. It's not too surprising that I'd hope for something to do.'
For a flower shop in the midst of February, Arthur was surprised, if not secretly pleased, at the lack of customers he was getting. Well, most of the time, that is.
Arthur continued on with taking inventory of the store, the height of his seat creating a perfect view of the back collection. Arthur had taken stock of the front collection earlier, and it was only thanks to a ready energy drink that he was up to speed as the dull work depleted his energy and had left him bored and torpid. By the time he made it to the back of the store, Arthur had already check on his "show".
Since there was, quite literally, nothing else to do with his time, it wasn't abnormal for Arthur to give soap opera-like personalities to the flowers he took care of. Best part was that no one could judge him for it.
In that day's "episode", Arthur had managed to create a bond between the lilies and the petunias, cleared up an argument that involved the sunflowers and the roses, and fixed the relationship between the some-what pretentious daffodils and the occasionally sleazy orchids. If Arthur was honest with himself, the hobby was most likely created by watching far too much Spanish television, being sleep deprived just one too many times, and being completely alone for his entire shift.
At least, that's what Arthur thought before a quiet cough had him falling off the counter. A piqued Arthur hauled himself back up, "You daft idiot, don't you know to not scare people like that?! Really now, I could have broken my neck!"
The exclamation was incredibly false, though Arthur wanted the perpetrator to feel guilty for their actions, customer or not. He was quite ready to tell them how they aggravated his made-up headache and that he was not going to hold back his disdain for them. He was going to do much more to the person Arthur had to thank for ruining his night and giving him a scare as well, had he not caught sight of them.
The young woman before him squeaked, "I am so sorry, I didn't mean to, really!"
While the slight woman rambled on, tears gathered in the corner of her eyes, Arthur closed his own and sighed before acting on his urge to commiserate and apologize for his ghastly behavior.
Arthur interrupted her incoherent babbling, "Please, madam, it is entirely my own fault." The woman ceased her muttering, though her sniffles continued and made Arthur feel even worse. "I have been very tense tonight and there are normally no customers at this time, so I had not been expecting anyone. Still, that does not excuse my actions, and I am truly sorry."
While Arthur was sincerely sorry for what he said, he was still bullshitting his speech pretty heavily, but the woman seemed to be okay with him as she gave the man a watery smile, "It's alright, I just hope you're not in any pain."
In actuality Arthur could feel an ache in the arm he landed on, but he waved the pain away, "I'm in perfect condition, don't you worry. Now, after that excitement, what can I help you with tonight?"
The blonde woman grew from relieved to flustered, "Well, hypothetically, if one needed a bouquet that expressed love, which one might that be?"
Arthur smiled, his day turning out not as bad as he thought it would be, and said, "Well, let's go look and see, shall we?"
The green-eyed man lead the equally green-eyed woman from the seeds to the blooming flowers. Arthur said nothing as he waited for the woman's blush to recede. By the time they reached the red section, Arthur could see that her cheeks had gone back down to a healthier peach instead of the bright red she had been.
Right when Arthur opened his mouth to ask her what specific emotion she was trying to convey - there were many types of love, after all - a delicate hand was thrust at him. He linked down at the hand offered to him, his thick eyebrows arched in surprise. Before he could say a word, the woman said, "Oh, where are my manners? My name is Lili, it is a pleasure to meet you, Arthur."
Arthur gently took her hand and pressed a kiss to the soft skin to the back of it, his eyes wide at the way his name rolled off her tongue. (How did he not notice her accent before now?) As he pulled away, Arthur could see that Lili was flushed once more, her cheeks tinged with a deep pink. The British man cleared his throat and fiddled with his name tag as he murmured, "The please is all mine, I assure you."
His voice rumbled in his chest and the sound had Lili flicking her eyes away from him, though he could feel the times when they came back to him. Arthur cleared his throat once more and gestured toward the shelves of red blooms, "Now, which were you looking for again?"
"Oh, um, love," Lili stuttered. A burn went through Arthur's blood and he clenched his hands in an attempt to fight it off. "But something more like family love?"
All at once the boil in his blood washed away and the smile Arthur gave her was bright and relieved; Lili couldn't help but smile back. Arthur clapped his hands together, "Family love, hmm? Well, how strong is the love for this person, if I may ask?"
Lili clasped her hands to her chest, "The flowers are for my lovely big brother! He's taken such good care of me, and I just wanted a way to tell him." The petite woman looked to the side, "I just flew back from college and it's been months since I saw him last, so I wanted to get him something special."
Arthur's eyes softened at her obvious big, bursting heart that filled with love for her brother. It was a love he never really got back when he was the youngest of five, so to see it now - well, he was going to do his job the best he possibly could.
The man sighed through his nose and narrowed his eyes at the beautiful flowers that filled the aisle they were in but to no avail, none of them would do Lili's love justice. Arthur clicked his tongue before snapping his fingers and hurried down the red aisle to the violet aisle. Lili followed him, confused at the sudden change, but soon gasped when she saw just which flower Arthur was going for.
"Ah-ha! There we go, Matthiola Incana, or its better known name: Stock," Arthur gently lifted down a bouquet filled with the vibrant flower. "It's a symbol of "bonds of affection", which I think suits your needs to the letter."
With a flourish Arthur bowed and brandished the bouquet to Lili, quiet pleased with himself when she took it from his awaiting arms, "So, what do you think?"
Arthur had to keep himself from gasping as he looked up. The blooms of the Stock pressed sweet kisses to her cheeks and Lili nuzzled the flowers, a brightness to her eyes that wasn't there before. She looked up, "Arthur, you know what every flower means, right?"
The man swallowed, his mouth suspiciously dry, "Of course. Is there another one you're looking for?"
Lili smiled, a quick twist of her cupid's bow, "Do you have any tulips in this aisle as well?"
Arthur's eyes widened and he nodded, "I think some just came in today."
Lili grinned, her teeth showing, "Then I'd very much like to buy some today. And maybe the next day, too."