I know that I should be focusing on my other stuff. Like, you know, the two stories that I said I was going to be working on. But. I've been stuck on Hanahaki fics. And I've seen so many for Michael pining over Jeremy and even a few for Jeremy pining over Michael. But none for these two (holy shit! Satan did something with a hetero ship?! I know, right? I'm shocked too), which is realistically speaking ( sorry guys, I love y'all and the Boyf riends too, but really.) much more likely to happen. So here this is.
This is pre-SQUIP/during canon. A canon divergence with Hanahaki being a thing and as if Jeremy had never got the SQUIP. Hope you can kinda enjoy just a little bit!~
Most people will say that they forget their first time. The first petal. The first flower. For Jeremy Heere; however, that was a different story. He couldn't remember. He knew that it began a few years ago. When he was still a freshman. A few months after he had noticed her for the first time. When they had first brushed fingers while she was handing him some papers to pass along their line of desks. When he had first met her eye. He had seen the dark but soft color, seen how deep her gaze was, and he was gone. Done. Finished. Just minutes after walking out of that classroom he had begun coughing, not a big deal, he was just recovering from a cold, except it was more than that. His breath was suddenly caught in his throat, something was blocking his airways and he couldn't breathe. He made his way quickly to the bathroom, hunched over the nearest sink and began digging his long, pale fingers into his throat, trying to remove the obstacle, only to come away with a small clump of tiny petals. Slimy and slick with saliva and mucus. For a moment he was frozen, he didn't know what to do. Sure, he had heard of Hanahaki disease, but he had never thought that it would happen to him. Just like every other teenager, he believed that something like that, something that could quite literally kill him, wouldn't be able to affect him. It was a stupid hope. A stupid belief that all people believe when they're young.
This didn't change anything, he told himself, squaring his shoulders as he made his way out of the bathroom and into the cafeteria where his friend, Michael, was waiting for him in their usual seat. He would get over it quickly. It was just a crush. This happened all the time. He'd be coughing up small petals for a few weeks and then he'd move on. He'd be fine. The coughing would stop. The petals would stop. He would never have to worry about death from unrequited love because that was stupid. That wasn't something that happened to teenagers. He had never heard of someone in high school dying from the disease. He would be fine.
He began bringing a large water bottle to school with him to help soothe his throat after the inevitable coughing fits and the harsh scratching of petals and the occasional leaf making their way up his throat and out his mouth. He began bringing grocery bags with him to spit the foliage in when it kept happening. Began getting worse. When the coughing fits happened more regularly and he couldn't expect his teachers to let him out of class so frequently.
In the classes he shared with her it was at its worst. He could barely stand to sit there next to her, coughing up the stupid petals while she looked at him with something like pity. The entire situation was not helped by the fact that he couldn't keep his mind off of her for a minute. His thoughts always came back to her because, 'Man, that new skirt looks so cute on her.', 'She got her hair cut! Wow, it really suits her.', 'Holy shit, she smiled at me!', 'She's like an actual angel, how is she so nice?' and he couldn't not notice these things because how could he not notice how perfect she seemed.
He knew that it wasn't healthy. He knew that he didn't know her well enough to really like her, he knew that he was putting her onto too much of a pedestal. He knew that she would never like him back. He tried, he tried so hard to rid himself of his feelings. He tried to convince himself that he didn't really like her, he tried to move on, he even tried liking someone else. But it didn't work. It didn't help. The petals and leaves kept coming. And soon small flower buds began coming up too.
He didn't know much about plants or flowers, so he didn't know what kind of flowers were growing in his lungs, but he knew that if they were growing there because of Christine, they would be beautiful. Even if they were slowly killing him, they were his favorite. Because they symbolized Christine and what flower could be better than that?
He didn't know what to do when the buds began to bloom and small, but half formed yellow flowers made their way up his throat. He was now at the beginning of his junior year and nothing had gotten better. His doctor had told him to really begin considering the surgery that would stop it, that would get rid of the flowers, the petals, the everything. But he couldn't. He wanted to hold on to his feelings as long as he could, even if it did end up killing him. Besides that, he didn't have the money for it. Surgery was expensive and all he had was the money from his Bar Mitzvah. He couldn't ask for Michael to pitch in, that wasn't fair and he didn't necessarily want to bring his dad into it.
The first, fully blossomed flower had nearly killed him. He was asleep and was woke up by a sudden lack of air. He couldn't breathe. It was just like that first little clump of petals, but larger, entirely blockading his airway as he struggled for air. He forced himself to calm down. To relax, as he pulled the yellow flower from his throat, grimacing in both pain and disgust as he threw it into the garbage can he kept nearby and chugged half of the glass of water on the stand by his bed.
He had resigned to death by cheer.
After coughing up that first fully formed bloom, he had looked it up and found that it was Tickseed, a flower that signified cheerfulness. It was fitting. It was small and bright and energetic, much like Christine herself.
But as blood began coming up along with the usual flower and mucus mixture, Jeremy Heere began to worry. He was near the end. There was no other way for the disease to progress. He was a junior in high school. It wasn't even October yet. It had been years since he had coughed up his first petal, but he hadn't even succeeded in talking to her. He was going to die without completing high school. Without doing a lot of things. He was pathetic. But he had resigned himself to this. He had chosen this stupid, suicidal path.
It was opening night of the play that the school drama club was putting on. He was going. There was no way he wasn't going to watch Christine perform when he knew that his time was truly limited. He sat there beside Michael, watching the scenes unfold. It was truly a bit of a mess, but Christine was spectacular, shining in the spotlight as he gazed up at her.
That was the night he coughed up the last of the tickseed. The night that the blossoms filled his lungs so much that he could no longer breathe. His breathing had become more and more shallow, air was becoming more difficult to take into his lungs. It hurt. It hurt to move. It hurt to speak. It hurt breathe. He swallowed down pain medication, grateful when it took effect quickly. His body going numb as his breathing became weaker and weaker. He scratched out a quick note, two words all he could manage as his vision tunneled. As he could no longer move. As his lungs ceased to work.