Online orders for Valentine’s Day (13/02/XX):
Red roses (M). 1402XX036
- Pick Up
- Special Requests: Wrapped in grey ribbon
- Name: Fosu Kaindo
Red roses (L). 1402XX058
- Deliver to: Momo Yaoyorozu (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special Requests: If you have any red and black wrapping paper, that would be much appreciated.
- Name: Jirou Kyouka
Red roses (L). 1402XX059
- Pick Up
- Special Requests: Red and yellow colouring on wrapping. Fireworks! Please say “To my Blasty Mcsplode!”
- Name: Kirishima Eijiro
Red roses (S). 1402XX070
- Pick Up
- Special requests: FOR AUNTY on tag!
- Name: Kouta Izumi
Carnations (S). 1402XX75
- Pick Up
- Special requests: Red carnations please
- Name: Anon.
Red roses and carnations (L). 1402XX079
- Deliver to: N.P. (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Birds on wrapping paper.
- Name: K.P.
Daisies (M). 1402XX084
- Pick Up
- Special requests: Daisy pattern on wrapping paper. Any other flower if not available.
- Name: D.S.
Forget-me-nots (L). 1402XX090
- Deliver to: L.W. (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Wrapping paper and ribbon to match colour of flowers. Also red blots.
- Name: H.N.
Red roses (L). 1402XX091
- Deliver to: Mirio Togata (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: N/A
- Name: T.A. and N.H.
Gardenias (S). 1402XX095
- Deliver to: Tsunotori Pony (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Please include horse patterns if possible.
- Name: E.I.
Pink roses (S). 1402XX096
- Pick Up
- Special requests: Pink! Pink! Pink!
- Name: Mina Ashido
Red roses and white roses (L). 1402XX100
- Deliver to: Jirou Kyouka (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Do you have any designs with music motifs? If not, purple, please. Otherwise, darker colours are fine.
- Name: Momo Yaoyorozu
Red tulips (L). 1402XX102
- Pick Up
- Special requests: Make it red. And say write to “Kirishima Eijiro”
- Name: Bakugou Katsuki
Lilies (M). 1402XX104
- Deliver to: Jirou Kyouka (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Light and dark pink, please!
- Name: Momo Yaoyorozu
Jasmines (L). 1402XX106
- Deliver to: Aizawa Shouta (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Make as large as possible
- Name: Anon.
Red roses (S). 1402XX107
- Pick Up
- Special requests: Green wrapping paper and ribbon if possible
- Name: S.I.
Red roses (L). 1402XX109
- Deliver to: Jirou Kyouka (ADDRESS FORWARDED)
- Special requests: Please use as much purple when decorating it as possible!
- Name: Momo Yaoyorozu
Red roses (L). 1402XX110
- Pick Up
- Special requests: N/A
- Name: Bakugou Mitsuki
Sunflowers, carnations, and red roses (L). 1402XX111
- Pick Up
- Special requests: Please make it special.
- Name: Anon.
Total online orders (13/02/XX): 19
Total orders (13/02/XX): 125
Total Valentine’s Day orders: 700
The bright red rose tucked behind Uraraka’s hair shakes with movement as she bounces up from her stool with the bright ringing of the bell, her smile as bright as the sun streaming in through the open door. Around them, the shop is bathed in a sea of red, individually wrapped roses glistening with water droplets bursting from wooden buckets near the entrance, wicker baskets brimming with large bouquets tucked into colourful cellophane, the green of their leaves peeking out like secrets from beneath the blossoms, sunflowers standing tall and proud in deep blue barrels, the red ribbons wrapped around their stems like necklaces, camellias, carnations, daffodils, forget-me-nots, and gardenias tucked into various baskets, the shelf behind them packed with special orders and requests for this day. The perfume of their wares is near overwhelming in the small space of their shop, every surface overflowing with flowers in full bloom, a vibrant tapestry of reds, yellows, whites, and greens, the occasional blue and purple popping out like a surprise visitor. Izuku grins.
“Good morning, and welcome to Shimura Hana! How can we help you?”
To: Todoroki Shouto (09:00)
We’re about to start, so wish me luck! I thought about waking up earlier to send this, but you were probably even busier getting everything ready at that time, right? Did you like your new tie? I know that it’s not our anniversary yet, but I couldn’t resist! Thank you for the new apron by the way! I’d send you a pic but Uraraka’s moving to flip the sign now. Besides, I’d rather you see me wear it under...different circumstances. I’ll try my hardest to text you throughout the day, but with orders being what they are, I might have to break my promise for the first time this year. I wish I could be there with you, but Uraraka’s already opening the door, so have this texted kiss instead! Love you!
“Hi! I’m here to pick up-”
“Do you have any red roses available? I know it’s a silly question, but-”
“Could I please check the delivery address for my order? I think there’s a typ-”
“My reference number? Oh! Let me show you the receipt!”
“You do? I’ll take a dozen please, and could you wrap that in bright blue ribbon? It’s really important-”
“Oh, it’s correct? Could you please change it to this address, then?”
“I’m going to confess today! Wish me all the best!”
“Dude, these are awesome! You really made the bouquet look like a firework!”
“So I was looking for like, some giant ass flowers to hand out, but then my stupid campus banned that. It’s so unfair right-”
“Do you have any flowers that say fuck you?”
“Seriously, dude, how did you do that? That’s amazing!”
“Your roses are so pret-”
“I need this guy to stop confessing to me every year! He’s a rat bitch bastard!”
“Iida delivery services as requ-”
“Two dozen roses please!”
“Will these survive until tonight? That’s when our dinner is!”
“Could you give me a discount if I buy two and a half dozen roses?”
“And the water won’t spill from the vial? Even if it’s bum-”
“Oi! That was my rose! Put it back right now or so help me-”
“I’m looking for a specific kind of tu-”
“Thank you for offering, but I can handle it myself!”
“And I was like whatever! So now, I need some tiny flowers! I know like, people love big things for Valentine’s Day-”
“How much for just five roses?”
“It’s our friendship anniversa-”
“You do do fuck you bouquets, ri-”
“Excuse me, that person stole my rose! I was clearly eyeing it first, and they just went up and snatched i-”
“Do you have a size even bigger than Large? I want it to cover his entire desk.”
“What do you mean you’ve got no naturally black tulips?”
“I’ll be back later for the rest of the deliveries, okay?”
Izuku huffs, breath coming out of his body in soft pants as he carefully wraps another bouquet, stray petals floating down to join others gathered on the glass counter, and on the floor, the ringing of the cash register competing with that of the bell as Uraraka counts bills and change, receipts, notes, and coins seeming to fly from her hands to the till and customer’s hands alike. Izuku cuts another length of ribbon, free hand moving to shove his curls away from his face before looking up, a laughing grin spreading across his lips at the wide-eyed look on their customer’s face, their hands slowly reaching out to accept the bouquet, the line behind them gasping, the clicks of phone cameras joining the cacophony.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous, thank you so much! Do you think they’ll like it?”
“You know, Izuku. Your bouquets could make anybody fall in love.”
“And how do you know that?”
“Because you’re looking at someone who is.”
He nods, eyes sliding shut with the force of his grin, thumb reaching out to rub at the fourth finger of his left hand.
To: Todoroki Shouto (09:30)
We only been open for half an hour, and I’ve already had to refill a bucket! Guess I’ll be winning that bet after all! I’m not going to lie though, I was awfully nervous that I would have to do the refill at twenty minutes. It could be a one-year fluke of course, with the new businesses opening near us and everything, but it’s still a good sign right? Iida’s already left with the first batch of deliveries, and honestly I’m worried about our same day-delivery policy this year if we’re getting this many people already! The bell and telephone are already start to ring off the hook, so I’ll talk to you soon! Good luck today, and make sure to stay hydrated! Roast your father lots for me! Love you!
“So what have you got planned for today?”
Uraraka grins, slumping down across the counter to rest her chin in her palms, her brown eyes already wistful.
“Well Tsuyu - that’s my girlfriend by the way! We’re planning on this picnic by the park in the evening! You know, the one near the river with the fairy lights on the lamp posts where you can rent canoes, and the swan boats? It’s our first Valentines together though, so nothing too serious, you understand what I mean? Just something nice and small and us!”
The salaryman across from them coughs, one hand reaching up to push his glasses further up on his nose, his brow furrowed together in a frown. Behind him, the squeaking of shoes over linoleum is nearly drowned out by the loud chattering of potential customers, and near constant ringing of the bell, the roars of cars and shoes on pavement of the street flitting in with every chime.
“As touching as that is, young lady, and I sincerely wish for your happiness, I was actually asking about the specials that you’re advertising outside. The poster clearly said to enquire inside about for further details.”
In any other situation, Izuku would have laughed at the rapid blush spreading across Uraraka’s face as she smacks her head against the counter with a yelp. However, since this was not just any other situation, the blush proves infectious as Izuku splutters, fingers scrambling for their Valentine’s Day specials catalogue beneath the cash register, shiny pages wrinkling beneath his grip as he yanks it free from its drawer. To his credit, the frown on their customer’s face doesn’t increase in intensity as Izuku smacks the booklet in front of him with a wheeze, his lips pursing together as he peruses the considerably battered pages, and Izuku sighs, heart still hammering painfully against the walls of his chest as he slowly leans forward on shaky limbs.
No one’s lining up yet, so we should have some time.
“Anything catch your interest? What are you looking for, may I ask?”
The man hums, free hand fiddling with a small seal stamp as he slowly folds the booklet shut.
“It all depends on my subordinates’ actions on today, I’m afraid. Your same-day delivery service will apply on Valentine’s Day as long as the order is placed before a certain time, correct?”
The same-day delivery section for the afternoon in their orders book is already filling up rapidly, the growing lines of ink in his increasingly smaller handwriting permanently burned into Izuku’s memory, but he nods nonetheless.
Iida should be able to handle it. I’ll speak with Toshinori and make sure that he gets paid extra.
“Good, I’ll be needing two of your large bouquets then, one to demonstrate satisfaction, and the other, to demonstrate disdain. Price is of no concern, and any flowers and colours will do, just make them applicable to a group of people, rather than the one, and have them delivered before the end of the workday.”
Beside him, Uraraka slowly lifts her head from the counter in a slow nod, hands barely able to hide the strong red of her cheeks as Izuku tugs the book of order slips from beneath her elbows, and the salaryman grunts, long fingers pulling out a slim black wallet.
“Also, young man?”
Izuku gapes, the book threatening to tumble from his fingers at the man’s hard stare, the metal of its spiral binding scraping uncomfortably against the glass of the counter, as he opens it to the next available page.
“Yes you. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?”
“Does candy taste better when it’s on sale?”
“I’m not sure actually. Feed me a piece, Izuku?”
“You just ate a piece!”
“But you didn’t feed me! It could make all the difference!”
“Only if you feed me one afterwards.”
Izuku smiles his most winning smile, the phone in his apron pocket seeping its weight and warm into his thigh, fingers flexing at his sides.
“I don’t have any, Sir. Just helping here at the shop.”
The salaryman arches a pencil thin eyebrow, the pen in his hands moving impossibly fast across the page with nary a second glance,
“Is that so? Nobody special?”
The memory of the heavy weight in Shouto’s eyes flashes through his mind, of his lips stretched into a scowl, of the glare of his phone screen blinding in the darkness of their bedroom, of his free hand digging deep into Izuku’s shoulders as he tugged him close, of his warm lips against his temple, his brow, and his own, and Izuku sighs.
“Yes, there is someone special. But we’ll be apart this year. Work, you see.”
Just like last year.
The man huffs, pen clicking shut as he slides the book back towards Uraraka, the black plastic of his credit card glinting in the light of the shop with the movement, barely blinking an eye as she rings up his order.
“Have faith. Things will turn out a little different this year.”
The sound of perforated paper being reluctantly torn is lost in the ever-increasing chatter of the growing crowd, as Izuku gawks at the impassive face of their customer, unable to break away from the hold of his cold steely gaze.
“Why do you think that?”
The man shrugs as Uraraka offers his receipt - tugged free with a muffled swear, with a short bow, tucking the paper and credit card in his suit pocket like an expensive handkerchief and a hotel key card to a rendezvous. Shadow falls across his face as he turns to leave, hands already reaching out to push his way through the line of people making their way to the counter, and for the briefest of moments, the corners of his mouth tug upwards.
“Just a feeling.”
To: Todoroki Shouto (11:26)
Are things as hectic where you are, like they are for me? I can’t see why your father’s law firm would be so busy on Valentine’s Day for these two years to need “every intern” there, even if it is the second largest one in the capital. He certainly didn’t seem to need that many interns on that date before that. Is it just the interns who have to come in, or is it every one? I wonder what kind of cases you would even have to handle on such a day as this? Lunch break is coming up for me soon, and as much as I’d love to text you more, I’ll have to use every second of it to eat, clean, and finish some bouquets before Uraraka and I open the store again, but I’ll try to ease a few minutes in! Here’s hoping we both survive! Love you, lots!
“I can’t believe I did that!”
“Uraraka, you’re happy! There’s no need to be ashamed about that!”
Uraraka sighs, pillowing her head on a pile of freshly trimmed leaves, taking care to keep her eyes, ears, and hair away, her gaze dreamy as she looks out towards the glass doors of their shop, the wrapper of her sandwich wrinkled in the garbage can, the last traces of toasted ham, cheese, and tomato already fading away from the air. The floor of the store is clean with the lingering scent of disinfectant, the counter clear of the previous mess of stray petals and leaves, remnants of stubborn perforated paper having long since been swept into the near-overflowing garbage bins, and Izuku kicks out at Uraraka’s chair with a booted foot as she lets out another groan, the sole barely making contact with the wood.
“I am, aren’t I? Can you believe Tsu and I have been together for nearly a month already?”
Izuku chuckles, fingers carefully measuring a length of bright pink ribbon from it’s roll, the whisper of fabric comforting in the blissful silence of the empty shop, the sign on the door still turned to “closed”, the clock behind them ticking ever closer to 12:00.
“You mean it’s nearly been a month since I helped you to choose, buy, and prepare the largest wicker basket known to humanity so you could have an excuse to ask one of our regulars out on a date?”
He can see the yellowing leaf being lightly tossed at him out of the corner of his eye, and he giggles as he bends forward towards his current construction on the counter to avoid it; the simple graduation bouquet of hydrangeas, peonies, and irises filling his vision, the pink of the wrapping paper a shade lighter than the flowers it encased; a colour pale enough to be mistaken for white. He breathes in the comforting scent of the blossoms, the sweetness overwhelming all the others in the shop, gasping in laughter as a muscular arm wraps around his shoulders to pull him into a headlock, squawking as a tightly clenched fist burrows into his scalp, his hands pushing the flowers out of reach.
“You hush! Like you wouldn’t have done the same with Todoroki!”
“But I didn’t!”
“No, you just accidentally kissed him after he surprised you in the greenhouse, and caught you when you fell off the stepladder.”
“Still waiting for the wicker basket part, Uraraka.”
“You immediately tried to fix him an apology bouquet and a confession bouquet afterwards before he kissed you again!”
Izuku pouts, slumping in Uraraka’s hold with a sigh, free hand reaching around to pinch at her waist.
“Fine! Now let me go, I finished lunch quickly so I could get that done before we open up again!”
“Oh! Please tell Todoroki thanks for me as well! Also, you’ve already finished that bouquet! You’ve wrapped it and everything! And it’s not even ready to be collected until later this afternoon!”
“Oi, thought your lunch break was supposed to be over already?”
The scraping of wooden stools over linoleum drowns out the final chimes of the newly-hung bell over the door, and Izuku snorts as he looks up at their newest customer, one hand reaching up to push his curls away from his face.
“Hello, Kacchan. Here to collect your order?”
The door slams shut, the glass rattling with the violent clanging of the bell clangs, as Kacchan stomps up to the counter, blonde strands of his hair springing free from the furred hood of his jacket, the scowl on his face shaky, the whites of his eyes made all the apparent by his smudged eyeliner, obvious even from a distance.
“Sup, Deku. Uraraka.”
His voice is a whisper compared to his usual shouts and screams, the lines of his neck and shoulders tight, the soles of his combat boots grinding into the linoleum with every step, and Izuku frowns.
“Kacchan, we’re still closed, so unless you’re here to pick up your order-”
“Can you remake it?”
Kacchan’s lips are pinched together, his gaze flickering back and forth, one hand shoved deep into a pocket, as he comes to a stop before them, his back straighter than a vine latched to a trellis, and Izuku frowns.
“Um, Kacchan, what are you-”
“Just fucking answer me, can you do it or not?”
“It would depend on the kinds of change-.”
“That’s all I need to know. It’s a fucking emergency, okay? I’ll even pay you extra and all that shit for the trouble, I just need you to do something for me.”
Izuku sighs, hand already inching behind him to carefully grasp Kacchan’s requested bouquet, the wrapping paper cool beneath his touch, as Uraraka clears the counter, rolls of ribbons bouncing onto the newly revealed space, to spill their streams of colour like carpets at a premiere.
“Bakugou, what could possibly be so impo-”
“I’m going to propose to Kirishima tonight, round face, and I need to make sure that the bouquet’s perfect, alright?”
The scissors dangling in Uraraka’s loosened grip clatter onto glass, shattering the silence as Bakugou drops into a nearby empty stool, fingers clenched white in the fabric of his ripped black jeans, stretching the torn material further, his backpack dropping to the floor with a heavy thump.
“I know I’ve only been with him for a year, but. Fuck. I just know, okay, Deku? I know that he’s the one for me. And. And I just. Fuck. I have to do this right. No. I want to do this right.”
The newest nick on the counter beneath Izuku’s fingertips is unfamiliar amongst the other faded ones as he slowly lays Kacchan’s bouquet down, the plastic and paper of the wrapping matching the brightness of the tulips shade for shade, the handwritten tag attached to the ribbon tying it together boasting Kirishima’s name in vivid black ink. The holly red cellophane glints in the sun, and Kacchan sniffs, his eyes slowly looking up to fall upon the bouquet reflecting the afternoon rays, before moving to meet Izuku’s, his lips pulled back to bare his teeth.
“So don’t you dare judge me, Deku. Don’t you fucking dare judge me. Not you, of all people.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
The hand in Kacchan’s pocket pushes a lump against the fabric, black velvet peeking through a hole before disappearing into the darkness once again.
“Are the two of you going to help me now, or what? Please.”
One year. One year. One year. One year. One year. Two ye- One year. If Kacchan’s sure about this...
“What have you got in mind?”
“I want you to make this fucker so tough that when I toss it at his face with the ring box attached it won’t break immediately. And add some roses too. Whatever the fuck kind of flowers people use when they’re proposing. I heard that carnations are popular too, so throw some of them in as well, could you?”
Behind them, the clock strikes twelve with a muffled metallic clang.
“Twelve o’ clock is here! Twelve o’ clock is here! Twelve o’ clock is here!”
To: Todoroki Shouto (13:15)
Everything was going as planned; I even had a few minutes left before lunch ended, but something happened, and unfortunately, by the time I was done, I wasn’t able to text you. In case you’re curious, that something involved Kacchan, and yes, I will most definitely tell you about it when you get home. Thankfully, the rush isn’t going to hit until a little later, so I’m using all the time I have now. I love you, you know that right? And I know you love me, but still, I have to say it. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, and I. I. I just miss you so much, Shouto. I keep seeing you at your desk (does it still look the same from when you snuck me in that one time after hours?), trying to find the time to even read these messages, and I just wish that you weren’t so far away. Make sure to eat your lunch (I packed a surprise, if it helps!), and come home safe, okay? I enjoyed mine, by the way! Where did you even find those coupons for Lunch Rush’s cafe? Since when does he even give away coupons? You truly are a miracle worker, Shouto, and I can’t wait to celebrate two years with you in two days. Love you lots!
“Pardon me, but you do do same-day deliveries, right? I just have to get the order in before a certain time.”
Izuku gulps, the memory of Iida’s eyes bulging out at sight of the crowded Valentine’s Day same-day delivery section in their book bleeding into his watery smile. Thankfully, the harried looking young woman in front of him doesn’t seem to notice, her blue-green bangs flopping down to droop into her yellow eyes, wide with panic. Beside him, Uraraka’s eyes and cheeks bulge out as yet another customer waves the catalogue in her face, nails jabbing indents into the creased page.
“It says right here! Same day deliveries before two pm! Your clock says one forty right now! There’s still twenty minutes!”
“Oi! Quit holding up the line! We have our own orders to give!”
“I could deliver them myself, but it wouldn’t be as conveni-”
“Please make your choice already!”
“Just take their orders already!”
“Yes. But if possible-”
“What flowers do you have that could possibly make someone laugh? It’s an emergency, I swear!”
“Um, it depends on their sense of humour, but you have to know, our delivery person might not be able to deliver it on time!”
“Okay, then! Just make it bright! It’s okay if the colours contrast! He’ll probably like it even better that way!”
“Um! Pansies, yellow poppies, daffodils, and zinnias it is then!”
“Of course! Shall I fill out the order form now? Or whatever it is?”
“I have to actually get the flowers-”
“I can get them! Pansies, yellow poppies, daffodils, and zinnias, right? I’ll just grab them-”
“Hey! While she’s getting them! Can you make my bouquet now? I’ll even pay you extra!”
“Oi! That’s bribery!”
“I’m not bribing-”
“If I pay more, do I get to be first in line?”
“You didn’t think about what flowers you were going to buy before you got there?”
“Oh, you’re still doing same-day deliveries? Perfect! I almost forgot about-”
“Does it apply if we’re sending it out of the prefecture? You see, I-”
“I realised I forgot to submit the online order form! Please tell me it’s not too-”
“I’m back! Thank you for labelling everything!”
“Hey! You left! It’s my turn now!”
“Sir, I’m free now, so please allow me to help you!”
“How long does it take you to wrap them? Can you do it as fast as you can? And this is the order form, right?”
“Perfect! I’ll fill out all the details then!”
“Just hurry up and finish her bouquet already, please! The rest of us here are waiting too!”
“Do you need help?”
“Do you need help, Izuku?”
The scissors threaten to slice off a flower as Izuku sucks in a breath, fingers tensing around the plastic handle, the cries of the crowd slowly wilting away from his senses as a silhouette bends down to prop the door open, afternoon traffic and laughter drifting into the store.
“Izuku! Are you okay? Do you need any help with those?”
“I-I’m fine! I got them!”
“Then I’ll hold the door open for you, okay?”
The silhouette straightens, and Izuku sighs, the upturned corners of his mouth growing heavier.
Of course it wasn’t-
“Iida! You’re early! Some orders aren’t ready yet!”
Izuku winces as Uraraka’s shout echoes in his ears, the din of their customers roaring back with a vengeance, the scissors jolting in his grip, and nearly shearing off a petal, his customer’s jaw dropping at the sight, her fingers burying deep into her hair.
“Please be careful! Actually, you know what? Cut off a few! It might amuse him after all!”
“Hey! How long does it take to wrap a bunch of flowers?”
“Get on with it, please!!”
“Hurry up already!”
Beads of sweat drip down to join the snippets of haphazardly cut petals tumbling over the counter, and the tightness in Izuku’s jaw increases as his cramping fingers slide over the wrapping paper, the muscles of his hands aching with trembles as he pulls at ribbon.
Come on. Come on, you can do it!
“Here you go! Hopefully, it’ll put a smile on your boss’ face!”
The woman puts down the pen with a soft sigh, the order slip blotted and smudged here and there, but readable all the same.
“Thank you so-”
“What’s the hold-”
A silver shirt and matching cap eases their way through their crowd as easily as water through moist earth, and Izuku quickly shuffles closer to Uraraka, just as a familiar voice rises to an ear splitting shout, dominating the room, and driving all other queries into silence.
“THE NEXT PERSON WHO HASSLES THESE TWO LOVELY PEOPLE WILL NOT GET THEIR ORDERS DELIVERED, POLICY OR NOT! THEY ARE WORKING AS HARD AS THEY CAN TO GET YOUR ORDER MADE ON TIME, AND YOU AT LEAST OWE THEM PATIENCE AND COURTESY!”
Like loose dirt pooling in a puddle of water, the gathered crowd slowly settles as the speaker makes their way through the crowd and behind the counter, his silver t-shirt and matching cap glinting softly in the light, black bangs pushed downwards towards a pair of glasses, a duffel bag cradled carefully to his chest. His body is warm and solid beside Izuku’s, one hand moving to push up the steel frames of his glasses, the other fumbling with the zipper of his bag.
“Who are the next two in line? Over here! And please walk up slowly!”
“Iida, thank you, but are you sure that you can-”
“My older brother used to talk about the last minute orders rush all the time, so I thought I would come by earlier to help! I’ve even been taking classes and researching online tutorials on how to wrap flowers, so that I can be of assistance!”
True to his word, the motions of his large calloused hands are practiced, folding paper and plastic alike to wrap around the bright green stems, before measuring out tape, rope, and ribbon to hold them together, and Izuku chortles as a stray piece of tape refuses to leave Iida’s finger as he finishes the bouquet.
“Guess they didn’t teach you that in the tutorials, huh?”
Iida huffs, chest puffing out with the action as he waves the next customer over.
“Some things can only be learned through practical experience.”
Izuku giggles, handing over yet another bouquet with a small bow, stray flecks of dirt scattering across the counter with the customer’s jostling grip, standing out like stains over a uniform.
‘Hey Iida? Thank you, but what about your clothes? They’ll get-”
The scent of fresh laundry quickly dissipates with a quick shake, the coarse material of the apron threatening to catch Izuku in the face before Iida promptly tugs it back with a grin.
“Not to worry, Midoriya! I brought my own apron and gloves just in case!”
It’s difficult to say no to the confidence in Iida’s dark eyes, or the straightness of his back, so he doesn’t. Neither does Uraraka, who simply huffs, lips stretched into a smile as the cash register opens with a ring at the tap of a few fingers, her free hand already beckoning towards the increasingly fidgety line of customers, and Izuku hums.
“Iida, thank you.”
It’s not until the tearing of tape cuts through the growing murmurs of the crowd again, that Iida speaks, adhesive sticky fingers landing between his shoulder blades with a solid smack that threatens to send Izuku over the table had he not braced for it with a grin.
“I should be thanking you, Midoriya, for bringing my brother’s company so much business! Now, shall we concentrate on the tasks ahead? We only have twelve minutes after all.”
“Next year, we definitely need to include a cut-off time and date.”
“We weren’t this busy last year.”
Stray leaves and petals tumble over the overflowing trash cans to mix with the growing mess around them, and Izuku winces as he bends over, brush and dustpan threatening to fall from his fingers, the pressure at his temples throbbing through the rest of his head.
“At least you have that picnic date to look forward to.”
Uraraka leans over her broom with a groan, the bristles already trapped with enough debris to look like an art piece in a fancy high-rise gallery.
“That’s if I still have enough energy to walk to the park afterwards. At least you get a day before meeting up with Shouto.”
The tension in his temples increases along with the tension in his jaw, and Izuku sniffs, blinking away the sudden itchiness in his eyes, his vision blurring for the briefest of moments as he shoves the leaves and petals into the dustpan.
“Yeah. One whole day after Valentine’s.”
The wood of the handle falls to the floor with a clatter, the bristles scraping against the linoleum with the movement as Uraraka dashes forward to pull him into a hug that squeezes the breath from his lungs.
“Deku, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to...sorry.”
Izuku sighs and shakes his head, the fabric of Uraraka’s pink shirt soft beneath his palms.
“It’s okay, Uraraka. And you’re right, it is a day’s worth of rest, I guess.”
Uraraka worries at her lip, bending down to pick up the broom.
“Cheer up, Deku! Remember what that salaryman said? It might be different this year.”
To: Todoroki Shouto (15:30)
I swear I heard your voice earlier, and even though it turned out to be Iida, I still found myself looking for you in the afternoon rush. I’ll have to thank him again later, since he rushed in to help me and Uraraka, but I still wish it was you. Do you hear my voice where you are? Do you look for me? If I could afford the shinkansen ticket to come to the city, I would be there in a heartbeat. You know that right? I don’t think I’ve said it to you before, so I want to tell you now, just in case. Are your shoulders okay? I wish I could be there to give them a rub and a kiss, so I sent a proxy in your bag instead! Did you enjoy your surprise? I had to do the preparation and cooking at Aoyama’s house, but don’t worry! The trip there was worth it just knowing that you could eat it! The street’s starting to wind down now, so hopefully I’ll be able to get home soon. I’m making your favourite tomorrow, so you better be back here by then! Love you lots!
“They still haven’t arrived to collect their order yet?”
The shadows filtering in through the glass of the door and skylight alike is warm, tinged with the colours of the setting sun, and Izuku sighs, slumping down into his stool, the counter unforgiving beneath his arms as his boots nudge against his swollen backpack.
“There’s always that one customer every year.”
The ticking of the clock grows ever louder in the silence, keeping time with the taps of Uraraka’s sneakers against the wall, the screen of her phone lighting up on every third tap as she turns it over and over between her fingers, notifications pushing older ones down in an everlasting montage.
“Is Tsuyu waiting for you?”
The pink on Uraraka’s cheeks grows deeper, her teeth digging into her bottom lip as she slowly looks up to meet Izuku’s eyes.
“I can text her? Let her know I’m running late?”
The image of Tsuyu waiting alone with a bulging picnic basket, and a second basket of flowers fills Izuku’s mind as Uraraka’s mouth pinches together, her fingers already tapping at the screen, and he forces a swallow past his suddenly dry throat.
“No! Go on your date, I’ll wait for them to come!”
“Izuku! I can’t leave you waiting by yourself!”
“Uraraka, I’ll be fine, go and meet Tsuyu! You’ve earned it!”
Uraraka’s mouth pinches together once more, her free hand warm and comforting on his shoulder as her fingers flex and tremble against the muscle.
“Izuku, are you sure?”
“I’ll be fine! I mean it’s not like I’ve got anything planned for today!”
There’s a loud thump as Uraraka slams a palm against the counter, vaulting over it in a single leap, and Izuku chuckles as she lands onto the floor with a soft thump, the straps of her backpack sliding off her shoulders with the movement.
“I could have just moved, you know?”
Uraraka giggles, carefully retying the worn laces of her sneakers.
“Like you have the energy to even shuffle off the stool after all the work you just did!”
His back aches at the very words, and Izuku groans.
“You have a point.”
“You should have let me help you out!”
“Then we would have both been tired and unable to move, and you would have been unable to meet up Tsuyu anyway!”
Uraraka chuckles, reaching up to tug at the fraying straps of her backpack as she tucks her phone into her pocket, her body already halfway out the door.
“Then I’ll see you tomorrow then. Let me know if you need me to come in early to help.”
Izuku smiles, the heaviness rolling deep in his chest easing slightly at the force of Uraraka’s grin, and he turns away with a small wave.
“I will! Now go and enjoy your date!”
Before him, the carefully wrapped bouquet of sunflowers, carnations and red roses remains waiting on the shelf, its scent still fresh and strong. Loose clovers peek out shyly from beneath its leaves, and Izuku sighs as he leans forward on his knees to trace a finger along the patterns of intertwining vines drawn onto the white wrapping paper by his own hand in the early morning light.
If the customer doesn’t come soon...I wonder if I can keep the petals from wilting until Shouto gets back?
The clock ticks from above his head, and Izuku hums, fingers already drawing his phone from the confines of his pocket.
It’s only a day more, so most of the flowers should be fine, but their scent might have disappeared. We always have flowers in the house anyway, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but it’ll still be nice if he could smell this particular bouquet.
His phone is warm in his palms, and Izuku sighs at the lack of notifications against the backdrop of him and Shouto wrapped together in the aftermath of a kiss, before tapping open his messages, the Seen (15:31) popping up in an instant to stare back at him unwaveringly, the heavy weight from before returning to sink into his chest with a vengeance.
You knew this would happen. You knew this was going to happen, so there’s no use getting upset about it. It was the same last year, so there’s no excuse now. You knew this would happen. You knew this would happen. You knew this would happen. You knew this would-
Something drips onto the back of his hand, and Izuku starts, vision blurring as his cheeks begin to grow wet, more droplets following the first to drip onto the skin of his hand.
“Izuku! Are you alright, what’s wrong?”
“C-Could you just. Hold me?”
“Of course, I will. Forever and always.”
His arms wrapped around his own shoulders are a poor substitute for Shouto’s, but he clutches tighter still as he breathes in the smell of flowers, fresh and damp alike, his chest shaking with the motion as one hand frees itself to wipe away his tears. Before him, the bouquet swims back into shape once more, and Izuku takes another shaky sigh, the fabric of his sleeve rough against the skin of his eyes and nose.
A few more hours. Just a few more hours before Shouto can...
The sudden scent of flour and sugar wafts into the store with a crisp ring of a bell, and Izuku’s stomach growls, saliva already pooling with saliva as he turns around.
“Midoriya! Mon cher! I have come to collect my order!”
Aoyama Yuuga seems to glitter as he struts into the shop, the bright white and sequins of his high collared shirt only serving to highlight the flour dusted on his cheeks and blonde hair, the soles of his shoes clacking along the floor as he makes his way towards the counter, pulling Izuku close to kiss him on both cheeks.
“Mon cher, I apologise for the lateness! The bakery simply could not do without me and my amazing authentic French pastries, hence my tardiness! Ah, I can pay you extra for your time? I tried to bring in some financiers, but the bakery forbade me.”
Izuku chuckles, pulling Aoyama into a quick hug before reaching behind him to fetch the bouquet, flour dusting across the petals like freshly fallen snow as Aoyama tucks them carefully against his chest.
“Ah, Aoyama, there’s really no need! You arrived just before we closed, so everything’s fine! I hope your date enjoys them?”
Aoyama gapes, free hand reaching up to brush at his fringe, white specks floating towards the ground.
“My date? Ah, mon cher, you do not understand! These gorgeous flowers are for myself! Who needs a date on Valentine’s Day when I can simply experience the pleasure and knowledge of owning a beauty exquisite enough to match my own?”
I should have known.
Izuku huffs, lips stretching into a smile as he pushes his curls away from his forehead, the other hand already reaching for the broom.
“Well, have fun tonight, Aoyama.”
“Adieu, Midoriya! Come in for a pastry anytime! I’ll be sure to throw in a few extras!”
The door closes with a brilliant jangle of the bell, and Izuku sighs, pressing at the muscles at the dip of his back as he stands, wincing at the scream of his exhausted muscles.
Done. All done.
The bins behind him are already fit to break from their contents, but Izuku beats the bristles of the broom over the top nevertheless, the plastic trembling from the action as the last flecks of stray dirt and stubborn leaves tumble to join their brethren.
I’ll come in to mop up early tomorrow before we open up. The afternoon rush wasn’t particularly messy, and it was just that one crowd besides, so we should be okay to do it in the morning. If I hurry, I should be able to pick up the last of the ingredients from the shop. They’re not foods you’d make specifically for Valentine’s Day, so I should be-
The bell clangs against glass once more, and Izuku winces, banging the broom against the bin once more.
“Ah, I’m sorry, but I’m just about to close up! Could you please come back tomorrow?”
“I’m here to make a delivery.”
Izuku’s breath catches in his throat, the broom in his hands slipping to tumble to the ground with a sharp clack as he turns around, body slumping against the shelf at the sight.
Even in the dimmed afternoon sun, Izuku seems to glow, the light drawing out the dark green of his hair, a colour deeper than the moss growing in their home, the freckles on his cheeks dotted like the final flicks of paint of a masterpiece, and his eyes as wide as they were during their first kiss. The fabric of the apron is still crisp, cinched tightly at the waist with a neat bow at the front to draw attention to the animal designs at the pockets, the deep red complimenting Izuku’s skin and hair perfectly. His mouth is open in a slight gasp, his knuckles clenched over the wood of the empty shelf behind him, and Shouto sucks in a deep breath, trembling lips pulling up into a shaky smile.
Smile. Please smile.
His fingers ache as they tighten around the white paper, the crinkling breaking through the heavy silence as Shouto carefully pushes the door shut, the ring of the bell bright despite its muted sound. The smell of the roses, so strong out in the street only moments before, are lost in the shop, and Shouto gulps, the fabric of his deep blue tie tight against his throat, the jagged ends of the stems peeping out from beneath the simple wrapping suddenly all too apparent.
“Am I interrupting something? I’m here to make a delivery for one Midoriya Izuku.”
He can see the trembling of Izuku’s lips even at a distance, and his heart squeezes at the sight.
“S-Shouto? What are you doing here?”
He chances a step forward, and then another, slowly drawing out the messily wrapped bouquet from behind his back.
“Surprising my boyfriend. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Izuku’s eyes water as he vaults across the counter, a watery smile pulling at his lips, his footsteps falling heavy on the linoleum as he jumps into Shouto’s waiting arms with a sob, his arms wrapping tightly around his neck as Shouto swings them around in a tight circle, his own arms moving to wrap securely around Izuku’s waist.
“What are you doing here, Shouto? What about your father? Aren’t you meant to be at his office right now?”
“You really think you’ll have a future out there without me? And with him as well? Grow up.”
They come to a slow stop, the soles of Izuku’s boots skidding against the linoleum.
Izuku’s lips are dry and warm beneath his as he leans in for a quick peck, the tension leaving Shouto’s shoulders as Izuku presses back against him before tightening his arms around him to draw him closer and deepen the kiss, eyes sliding closed as Izuku sucks hard on his tongue, their shared whines and gasps tumbling into each other’s mouths until the want for air forces them to slowly pull apart, their foreheads resting carefully against one another.
“I quit. I was going to do it anyway. And...And besides, I couldn’t have him interfering in our lives anymore. Especially not now. So I quit.”
Izuku’s laughter is warm and bright against his mouth, his eyes creasing together as he leans forward for another kiss, this one chaste and lingering.
“Did you at least tell him to go fuck himself before you did?”
Shouto grins, the bouquet in his hand moving to rub gently against the back of Izuku’s head.
“Not in so many words, but yes.”
A simple snort has never sounded sweeter as Izuku ducks his head, the strands of their hair mixing together once more when he presses up on his toes for another kiss, before reaching up to carefully take the flowers from Shouto’s arms, his eyes flickering between the wonky blossoms, the jagged stems, the amateur cut and knot of the ribbon, and the wrinkled and creased paper.
“So if you weren’t at...at your father’s office, what have you been doing all day?”
There’s the slightest hint of teeth worrying into Izuku’s kiss-swollen bottom lip, his eyes flashing down to the outline of his phone in Shouto’s jeans, the fluttering in his chest dropping away.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Izuku’s eyes widen as Shouto tugs him close to bury his face into his hair, the scent of his shampoo filling his nose, the curls sticking to his lips as he presses kisses across his scalp, the sound of crinkling paper filling the air as warm hands reach up to clutch at his shoulders.
“Izuku, I’m so so sorry that I didn’t respond to all of your messages, but if I did, I would have spilled everything. I’m so sorry. Can you forgive me?”
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Izuku’s head moves beneath his lips, and Shouto maps out his nods with his mouth, sighing as Izuku pulls back to draw him into another kiss, the hands at his shoulders moving up to dig gently into his scalp, the stems of the bouquet bumping against his temple.
“Izuku, thank you.”
Izuku draws him into another kiss, pressing his lips to Shouto’s as his head moves in quick succinct nods, his fingers digging gently into Shouto’s scalp.
“So where were you then?”
“T-That’s your answer? You’re not going to ask any more questions?”
“I don’t need to.”
“I’ve been at Toshi-your Father’s all day. Making your gift.”
Izuku huffs, tugging gently at a stray strand with a pout.
“If you wanted flowers, you could have come here!”
“And cause more work for you on this busy busy day?”
Izuku hums, reaching past him to flip the sign on the door with a smile, giggling as Shouto leans in to press another kiss to his cheek.
“Such a considerate boyfriend.”
“I can be even more considerate.”
“Oh? Prove it.”
Izuku groans when he digs his hands into the small of his back, slumping against him with a soft sigh as he digs his fingers into the muscles, their feet shuffling together in a slow dance as Shouto sways them to an inaudible tune.
“Yes, please. When we get home though, I’ve been in that stool for way too long today.”
“You want me to move in with you?”
“Y-Yes, Shouto. I know that we’ve only been together for one year, but it just feels so right, and your lease is expiring soon right, so this would save you the trouble of finding a new place, not to mention two people living together is cheaper. And there’s not a lot of things at my place anyway so you can move all your things and it wouldn’t be a hassle.”
“Not to mention, it’s not too far from the station too! And there’s a convenience store and grocers nearby, so if we’re feeling hungry or need emergency snacks, it’ll be really easy to do so.”
“I know, I know, I know, we’ve only been together for a year but...I really like you, Shouto. And I’d really really like it if you moved in with me.”
“What? Shouto, are you really...yes?”
“Yes! I’d love to move in with you!”
“Izuku, can I ask you a question?”
There’s a gentle kiss pressed against the hollow of his throat, followed by a soft hum, and Shouto chuckles, tugging Izuku closer.
“Getting your gift wasn’t the only reason I went to see your father today. Or your mother. Or mine.”
He can feel more than hear the hitch in Izuku’s breath, the weight of the bouquet brushing along his back as Izuku slowly straightens in his arms, his chest rising and falling to match Shouto’s.
“Last year, you asked me to move in with you, despite everyone telling us that it was too soon. But you took that chance on me anyway, Izuku, even when our relationship was still so new.”
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
“You’re my home, Izuku, and the best person in my life, Izuku, and I know it’s sudden, and that I’m now out of an internship, and that you’re probably exhausted right now, and that we’ve only been together for two years, but I’ve never been more sure of anything else in my life.”
Wetness pools around his thumb as he reaches up to stroke away the tears spilling down Izuku’s cheeks, his own vision blurring at the edges.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
“I told our parents about my new situation, and I...I...I asked them both how they would feel about the two of us getting married when neither of us exactly have the money for a ring right now. Whether we were moving too fast, or if it was too rash a decision.”
Izuku stills against his chest, his mouth dropping open into a breathless smile, the bouquet nearly slipping from his loosened grip as Shouto slowly leans down to press their foreheads together.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
“I was going to wait until we got home, or during dinner but...I don’t want to wait any longer, Izuku. Not when you already know the question. So I must ask. Izuku.”
He gasps as a familiar smiling mouth presses against his own, his eyes slowly sliding shut at the sensation of Izuku nibbling gently on his bottom lip, at the warmth and the solidness of his body against his, at the slow breath that fans across his skin.
If possible, Izuku’s smile is even wider when he opens his eyes once more, his eyes squinting shut when Shouto leans in to press another peck to the corner of his mouth, breath leaving in a shaky sigh.
“Ask me, Shouto.”
The linoleum is hard through the fabric of Shouto’s slacks as he gets down on one knee, his hands following the lines of Izuku’s body to rest at his waist, Izuku’s own hands moving to his shoulders. Above him, Izuku is splendid, the shadows of afternoon casting his face in a soft sheen that only serves to draw out his tan skin and the darker strands of his hair, bright eyes and smile fighting for his attention.
Izuku smiles. Nods. Shouto closes his eyes. Opens them again with a smile.
“Izuku, will you marry me?”
There’s no time to breathe as soon as the words flow from Shouto’s lips, Izuku falling against him with a loud laughing sob, arms looping around his neck to pull himself into Shouto’s lap, body warm and firm beneath his hands, as he presses kisses all over Shouto’s face, their tears and gasps mixing with one another.
“Yes, Shouto, yes!”
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Izuku sobs again, leaning forward to rub their noses together, the faint flush on his cheeks obvious even in Shouto’s blurring vision.
“Yes, Shouto. Yes, I’ll marry you.”
Shouto sniffs, one hand moving from Izuku’s waist to intertwine with his left hand, pulling it up to his mouth to lavish kisses on every finger.
“We’re getting married.”
The pink on Izuku’s cheeks grows darker as Shouto places another kiss on his fourth finger.
“Yeah, we are.”
He leans forward once again, grinning as Izuku meets him halfway for another lingering kiss, hands twisting into the straps around Izuku’s waist as he licks into his mouth, before moving to slide beneath Izuku’s shirt to trail against bare skin, the hybrid of a gasp and a moan breathed into his mouth sending shivers down his spine. His fingers dig deeper into the dip of Izuku’s back to pull him closer still, his eyes opening wide as he leans back into empty air, hands leaving the inviting skin of Izuku’s waist to slap against the gritty floor with a light thump.
Oh that’s right. We’re still...
He can feel more than hear Izuku’s giggles fanning out against his cheek as he pulls away to stand on wobbly feet with a grunt, his own arms already wrapping around Shouto’s to carefully ease him upwards to join him, lips pressing at his jaw when Shouto carefully hooks an arm around his waist.
“Should we get going then? We’ll need to stop by at the grocers first, but after that, we can go home and continue. Properly celebrate, too.”
Shouto grins, tugging his fiancé close to pull him into yet another kiss, his eyes closing as arms wrap around his neck once more, the scent of roses filling the air.
“I’m already home.”