“All of them Sir?” The shopkeeper of the small flower shop across the street from the high end coffee shop Victor picks up his morning caffeine-shot looks at him as if he’s gone completely mad. And maybe he has. Why else would he be at this small shop even before it’s actually open to buy all of the red, pink, and other colored roses they have for sell on a dreary morning.
“All of them. I would buy more if you had more but these will do for now.” Victor smiles. “I want there to be no doubt about my intentions.”
He can’t have any more doubt. He’s been hinting at Yuuri for nearly a year now that he likes him and the younger helpdesk assistant hasn’t responded to anything in a positive way. If not for that confession during the Christmas party Victor would have honestly thought his affections where solely one-sided. Even if once he came back from his New Year's Visit with his parents Yuuri once again acted as if there hadn’t been a confession at all. It was maddening.
Victor’s not one for fitful nights of sleep and he had been tossing and turning trying to find the best way to finally make it clear he wanted more than a simple nod and a shy ‘good morning Victor’ when he came by Yuuri’s desk.
He wanted to be called Vitya, or Vitenka, he wanted that broad and cheery smile he had gotten over Christmas punch. He wanted Yuuri cuddled up with him on their coach and coo over their poodles while reminiscing their day at the office and making plans for dinner.
So he got up two whole hours before his alarm went off, and he was told that was already set at a god awful early setting, just to go online to find the best way to finally get Yuuri’s attention.
Together with Makka he decided against having a plane with a banner fly over the building. With his luck Yuuri wouldn’t see it because somebody’s computer would be acting up.
He also couldn’t get those personally crafted chocolates, as he had overheard Yuuri tell his colleague that he was struggling to keep his weight at a reasonable level. Victor wasn’t cruel enough to give something Yuuri wouldn’t allow himself to have.
In the end it had to be Roses.
Once the idea lodged in his head he had rushed Makka on their morning walk, gotten dressed for work and only realized how early it still was when he had found the shop door closed.
He had almost left, planning to come back during his morning break, when he had spotted the lights being on in the back. Realizing somebody had to be in he had knocked on the door till somebody had come and taken a look. The teen though had simply given him a scolding look before going back to the backside of the shop.
Victor had knocked again and again till finally the old shopkeeper had walked up and called out through the door that they were still closed and that Victor would have to come back later. He had responded by saying it was an emergency.
Clearly looking frazzled enough the man had relented and let him in. That’s when Victor had made his request for all the roses the man might have in the store.
Another good thing about being this early was that by the time the shop owner and his grandson had managed to create some of the most beautiful flower arrangements Victor had ever seen he would still arrive at the office in time. With his arms filled he strolled into the office with a little hop to his step that would have gotten his co-workers attention if any of them had already been in.
It turned out he was so early there wasn’t anyone at their floor yet at all. This just means Victor can go all out to arrange the flowers exactly the way he liked them to be.
Not in a heart as that is tacky, and definitely second date stuff, but he still manages to get it organized nicely.
He looks up when the elevator dings, telling him somebody is about to step out, hoping it might be Yuuri even though Yuuri is more likely late than early to work.
Victor can’t help but feel slightly disappointed when it’s Yakov stepping out. Or Mister Feltsman when at work as his uncle despises any hint at nepotism, even if both know it was the whole reason for him offering Victor his first job. Since then though Victor has earned every promotion, every compliment.
“Victor!” Yakov looks up amazed. “I had seriously thought you would manage to be late for this morning’s meeting. Seeing as you did not deem it necessary to even reply at your email. Well now that you are actually here on time, walk with me to the conference room, we have some setting up to do.”
While following Yakov Victor takes a quick look at his phone and indeed finds one unread email send by Yakov. It must have arrived while he was in the flower shop, he reads it through quickly and understands he can’t bail on the meeting. So he resigns on it and just hopes he will be able to catch Yuuri at lunch.
Yuuri steps out of the elevator, only four minutes too late, to find the entire floor buzzing with activity. He assumes it’s about the major client who apparently came in right at the start of the workday, but finds the hub of the excitement to be in the corner he and Phichit have their desks.
Fearing Phichit has done something again, like that time he had set up an semi-illegal gambling game, he pushes through the crowd in hopes of stopping things before they run out of hand.
At first people don’t want to let him pass till they see it’s him, then under some cheerful ‘Yuuri’s here’ the whole crowd parts like a wave on a breaker. This gives Yuuri a perfect sight to his desk. Or where his desk is supposed to be, as all he can see is one massive mountain of Roses.
Roses in every color, shape, and size. Arranged like small handheld bouquets, to two he’s certain would not misstand on a bridal table at a wedding.
Yuuri feels the strep of his bag slip from his hand, hears it land on the floor, unable to stop it from happening. He just can’t believe that what he sees is real. He looks around at the people that are all staring at him.
Are they in on it? Was it something he had done when he had gotten a bit drunk over Christmas? What had he done for them to do something like this?
His eyes settle on Phichit. His former College roommate, his best friend, and the one person he had confessed to that he had never gotten a real Valentine’s gift ever. That he had only ever been given the obligated chocolates you give to family and friends.
Yuuri’s eyes zoom in on the telephone in Phichit’s hands and he just knows it’s set on filming. Recording his reaction.
He knows that it is recording the wobbling of his lips, the reddening of his eyes, and the shaking of his arms.
When he feels the first tear glide down his cheek he forces out a soft sob of ‘how could you’ before turning on his heels and running straight for the toilet.
He’s not even properly sitting before he can hear the door to the toilet being opened again. Knowing it’s Phichit, simply because that is how his friend is, he makes no secret of his sobbing.
“Yuuri, please don’t cry, I’m sorry I was filming. I just couldn’t resist. I had to have it.” Phichit sounds remorseful, but he usually is when he does something foolish. “Please tell me though why you started crying? I thought you would like it.”
Yuuri snorts. “Yeah because people usually like it when their best friends take pity on them. I told you that in private, and you shared it with everyone.”
He hears Phichit sit down next to the door.
“Tell everyone what? Told me what?” There is genuine confusement to be heard in Phichit’s voice. “Yuuri what are you talking about?”
Yuuri looks at the door in anger, pulling off some paper to blow his nose, before raising his voice.
“You know what! I told you I never had a real Valentine only this weekend and now I’m supposed to believe you did not set this up?”
Phichit shuffles closer to the door, then drops to the floor and looks in under it.
“I didn’t. When I arrived those flowers had already been on your desk and over a dozen of our colleagues were already staring at them and taking pictures.” Phichit grins. “Some even asked me if I knew the name of your boyfriend as there apparently is a note that only mentions dinner and nothing else.”
Yuuri looks at his friends face twitching for a moment.
“To be honest, I did not text you they were there to warn you as I was actually a bit angry you hadn’t told me you were seeing somebody.”
“You thought I had a boyfriend?” Yuuri just stares at Phichit in amazement. “Why would you think that?”
“Come out and read the card. You’ll know.”
Phichit pulls away from the door, leaving Yuuri to simmer for a moment while he calmly walks back to their desks.
Yuuri uses two more wads of paper to clear his nose, then takes a moment to also wash his face to get the biggest mess cleared up as he just knows Phichit will record him reading the note.
He walks back to his desk hoping that maybe the rest of their colleagues have gone back to their work, but with the whole management team hold up in the largest conference room there’s no one really around making them so he has little hope.
Sure enough he can see the large crowd still hovering around his desk. Waiting for him to come back and read that note. He sees Phichit with his phone in his hand, but it’s turned down. Understanding his friend is allowing him to decide if he wants it recorded or not he simply nods.
It’s not like something like this will ever happen again so he can just as well have it for posterity. Not to mention his sister will demand actual proof so he will allow it.
He spots the card almost immediately. It’s placed right in the center of the biggest arrangement, which is coincidentally also the one right in the center of them all.
It also doesn’t take long for him to see it has been moved and probably read already, what would explain how Phichit would know the content. His friend must have been the one to read it when he arrived.
Yuuri opens the card. Then reads the content again after the first time. He looks up at Phichit with utter confusion on his face.
‘My beloved Yuuri.
The times we have spend together are so dear to me, I can only hope you feel the same.Let me take you to dinner this Valentine as the first of many for us to spend together.
I needed to express just how much those memories we made at Christmas mean to me and how I can only hope we will make many more in the time to come.’
Yuuri flips the card open, hoping to spot the writers name anywhere. All he finds is a small stamp telling him which flower shop was responsible for the flowers but nothing else. He reads the card again hoping to find a clue, but if there is any it is alluding him.
“I don’t get it. Why are they mentioning Christmas? I went back home for the holidays.” Yuuri just can’t figure it out. “I would think it was delivered at the wrong place but it has my name on it, and in both English as Japanese no less.”
Yuuri turns the card over again. Something about the wording feels like he can almost hear the person say them, but he has never seen the handwriting before.
Phichit offers that maybe he had the shop clerk write the card. Yuuri has to agree that that seems like a viable option. Which means he can’t use it as a clue.
They want to says something else when a loud buzz reminds them they are at work and with almost everyone over at their desks there is only one person that could ask for assistance right now.
Sure enough it turns out that one of the computers in the conference room is acting up and Yuuri decides to run over to fix it, after all with all the flowers on his desk it’s not like he has room to work from there.
It takes him nearly a full hour to fix the issue at hand as some of the software had seemed to be corrupted due to a misplaced program file.
This gives him time to sneak glances over at Victor who is sitting near the head of the table being simply perfect. If only the flowers had come from him Yuuri would have been over the moon.
He’s been a bit infatuated by the Manager since his first day. Phichit had even teased him for weeks after he had turned every shade of red humanly possible when they had been told that they could call him Victor instead of Mr. Nikiforov. He’d been too scared to actually talk to the man after that.
Yuuri freezes for a moment when Victor’s eyes move to where he is standing and meet his for the briefest of moments. He lets out a small sigh when Victor turns his eyes away almost immediately. Of course this man would not want to waste time looking at somebody like Yuuri for too long.
There’s a final check-up and Yuuri is able to leave the tense room just before break time.
He walks back to his desk fully intent to just dive behind his computer and take care of some smaller tech issues that seem to always pop up in the system no matter how often he and Phichit check everything.
It isn’t till he is greeted by the wall of scents coming from all of those flowers he is crudely reminded again why he had been so happy to have been able to flee his desk earlier.
“Yuuri dear you sigh as if you had hoped the flowers to have been gone upon your return?”
He looks at one of his colleagues who is looking at him with a bright grin. He likes Sara and for a moment he fears she is the one that gave him the flowers. Because if she is than it means he’ll have to turn her down politely.
Not that she couldn’t be a good partner but he just wouldn’t be able to handle her brother.
“They are a bit much don't you think?” Yuuri smiles softly.
Sara shakes her head. “Oh no. If somebody would gift me flowers I could only hope for them to be like this.” she sends him a small smile. “Who ever send you this Yuuri, they are very fond of you. Have you figured it out already?”
Yuuri shakes his head. “All I know is that they have to work on our floor, how else could they have done it before anyone else came in?”
Sara nods slowly. “Yeah. Somebody would have seen otherwise and said something by now. Phichit has been trying to find them but even he came short.”
Speaking of the devil they can see Phichit round the corner walking towards where they are standing.
“Yuuri! How was the boardroom, did you overhear anything interesting while you were trying to fix the issue?”
Yuuri smiles. “I think that if they are successful and with both Mr. Nikiforov, Mr. Giacometti, and Mr. Popovich sitting in with Mr. Feltsman, I have no doubt. If only Ms. Babicheva wasn’t on holiday I think they would have had it wrapped already. Now I think they’ll be calling in for lunch very soon.” He said softly, trying not to be overheard by the rest of the floor.
Sara perks up. “In that case,” she says “I’ll be taking my leave as I was actually supposed to be sitting in as secretary so they will be angry if I don’t reply and take their orders when that happens.”
At that Sara runs off towards the boardroom to resume her position. Yuuri just shakes his head knowing that she might have already missed at least one call in.
Phichit wraps an arm around Yuuri’s shoulder. “I haven’t been able to pin down exactly who could be responsible for the flowers yet. Did manage to narrow it down to about five people.”
Yuuri feels his breath hits and a dizziness take over a part of his mind. “Narrow it down to five? With how many did you start?”
“Well everyone.” Phichit says it like it is the most logical thing to say. “I could scrap out the ones I knew arrived after I did. Anyone that was too obviously surprised at seeing those flowers. And the people that would have chosen a different approach.”
Yuuri looks at the ease Phichit ticks of the list.
“Poorly there seems to have been some idiot that gotten a trojan over at PR and I bet we both know who that is. So I have to halt the search for your mystery man and take you with me to come rustle some horses out of our system.”
Phichit smiles while dragging Yuuri over to the PR department, and the desk of one distraught co-worker. Who keeps telling them that he thought that the display on Yuuri’s desk were just too romantic and he had only tried to find out if he could do something similar for his Isabella.
It’s well past lunch when they have it under control again and all the damage done by the Trojan has been categorized and dealt with.
Both drag themselves back to their desks, glad to have dealt with the hassle and being able to keep the damage down as much as they had. Yuuri calmly ignores the flowers on his desk to take up his backpack. All he wants to do is take out his lunch bento and have something to eat. Too tired to really care anymore who sent hi the flowers.
Poorly after looking through his backpack a second time he has to conclude that he had left his bento at home. Yuuri slumps into his chair. Sure he had said he wanted to lose a few more pounds he had not meant to deny himself actual food, and he just knew the cafetaria wasn’t serving anything healthy anymore with Lunch being done already.
Just his luck to be working in an office that had more health freaks than the average Gym.
He hears some raised voices coming in their direction, so he looks up to find Mr. Feltsman and the client walking into their corner of the company.
He and Phichit are introduced to Seung-Gil Lee and informed that they would be getting some data send over soon to see if the two companies could work on a combined system. They gladly accept.
Phichit grins at Yuuri once they are stepping out. “Now all we have to figure out who sent you these flowers and today will be the best day ever.”
Seung-Gil looks over his shoulder. “If you don’t know who sent the flowers it could be because they don’t want to be known. But if they do want to be known and there is more than one claiming to have done it simply ask for the receipt.” With that he nods curtly and leaves them boh silent.
“The receipt” Phichit says to himself. “Why hadn’t I thought of that.”
He walks away from Yuuri with determination in every step, seeing his friend is up to something Yuuri quickly follows.
He finds Phichit standing in the middle of the work floor in such a way every department can hear or see him. Even Victor and Cristophe are among the workers.
“Everybody!” Phichit says with a raised voice. “All of you have seen the flowers delivered to Yuuri this morning and over two dozen of you have claimed to be the one that put them there.”
Yuuri stares at his friend with shock on his face. He had to have heard that incorrectly.
Victor sees Phichit walk into the main part of the floor when he and Chris are still talking about some aspects of the new deal they just settled on with the Lee conglomerate. Why would the tech look so determined. Unless somebody had let a backdoor in their system open again. That had been a horrid week as a lot of private information had been up for grabs if it was found by any wrong doers instead of Yuuri.
“Everybody. All of you have seen the flowers delivered to Yuuri this morning…”
Victor smiles, it doesn’t seem anyone minded him leaving the flowers, which in retrospect could have been an issue as interpersonal relationships were a bit dicey on the work floor.
His heart stops when he hears the rest. Even Chris nods beside him.
How? Why? Who dared to claim his gift to Yuuri as theirs? He quickly looks around and sees several people look suspicious.
“Chris. What’s going on?” He leans towards his friend, surely there was a reason no one knew they came from Victor.
“Ah Victor you don’t know?” Chris says with a smile. “I guess Yakov dragged you into the board room before you could look around. You two did arrive around the same time right.”
Victor nods slowly, indicating for Chris to continue.
“It seems our little company heartbreaker was gifted with quite the display of flowers this morning. And not just any. No, roses upon roses upon roses. Even I thought it was a bit over the top, but they looked wonderful so no complaints from me.” Chris nods.
“It seems there was a note but the gifter forgot to actually sign his or hers name on it. Now everyone that has a thing for our darling Yuuri claims to have bought them.”
Victor just stares at Chris. His name. He had forgotten to actually put down his name. How could he now prove that it had been him and not anyone else that gifted Yuuri his flowers.
“So I decide that unless you can show the receipt I will decide that your claim is ungrounded.”
Phichit’s final words slowly sink into his muddled brain. The receipt.
The receipt, of course. He knows he had put it into his wallet, so all he had to do was show that and Yuuri knew that the flowers had come from Victor and no one else.
His hand moves to his back pocket to take out his wallet. Only to find it empty.
Victor frowns, it should be there. He taps his pocket again hoping against hope the wallet would miraculously appear if he simply padded often enough.
Once he realizes it’s really not there he moves his hand to his chest pocket thinking he may have put the wallet in there instead. Finding it also empty he decides he must have put it in his coat instead of his pockets.
Seeing as he had tossed his coat into his office when Yakov had dragged him to the boardroom he simply turns away from Chris to go over there. Completely missing the knowing grin on his friend’s face.
Victor finds the coat exactly where he had left it. Slumped half over one of the chairs he had in front of his desk. He grabs the coat and pats down the pockets one by one. He can find his keys, the small business card from the flower shop. Even the small flowerhead he had picked up from the shops floor. But not his wallet.
How could he have misplaced his wallet. It contains his proof. He needs it.
Maybe it fall out of his pocket during the meeting. Victor’s mind bubbles up the possibility that So he turns on his heels and goes back over the the boardroom. He dives under the desk and looks around the chair he had sat in most of the time. Then in final desperation he walks to the front of the table and checks under there. Maybe it fell out during his presentation.
“Uhm, Mr. Nikiforov? Is something wrong with the laptop again?”
He slams his head against the bottom of the standard when Yuuri’s voice reaches his ears.
Yuuri looks at the man sitting on his heels at the laptop Yuuri was planning to take back to his desk to do a complete check up. A shocked look like a deer in a headlight flitters over Victor’s face.
“Ah, Yuuri… Uhm… No… Not that I would know.” Victor says with a blush creeping over his cheeks. “It’s not really my area of expertise now is it?”
“No I guess not.” Yuuri slowly walks into the room. “So what is going on. You look frazzled.”
Victor’s hands move to his hair, raking his fingers through it trying to smooth it down. Yuuri feels a giggle bubble up, but manages to keep it in, at this display of nerves coming from the normally confident man.
“I seem to have lost my wallet.” Victor says finally. “I was certain I put it in my pocket this morning after I paid for something, but it’s no longer there. It’s also not in my coat, so I hoped I had lost it during the meeting.”
Victor sighs. Giving Yuuri the feeling he wants to run over and… and do what? It’s not like he can simply walk over and hug him. They aren’t like that. Even if Victor looks like he could use the hug right now.
“That’s awful. I had heard from Sara that you guys didn’t have any lunch served, as to not break the meeting, so I bet you are hungry.”
Before he can say anything else his stomach rumbles, making Yuuri look away from Victor. Till he hears a similar rumble coming from the man.
“I am, I came in so early this morning I forgot to have breakfast so I really could use something. But I really need my wallet. It’s personal, there’s some photos and other things in there I really need.”
Victor sees the small blush creep up Yuuri’s cheeks when his stomach rumbles, and he understands the feeling when his own reacts with similar fashion.
“It seems we both are in need of some food, but without my wallet I can't even get something from the cafeteria.” Victor sighs.
“Why haven’t you eaten though?”
Yuuri looks up startled. “Ah I was planning to, but during Lunch me and Phichit were wrangling a Trojan so we had no time and once I was back at my desk i found out I forgot my lunch at home as I was running late.”
Victor doesn’t really know what a Trojan was but he has had history, and he knew the tech department really hated them, so he understood Yuuri had been hard at work and not played some leisure game with the other Tech.
“What if we go and get something to eat then?” The words leave Victor’s mouth before he can even think of stopping them. “I need to retrace my steps in hopes to find my wallet anyway, and I know the last time I saw it it was around a few places that serve some very delicious things to eat.”
Yuuri looks at him with those big brown eyes on full display. “You mean go out and eat together?”
“Well we could ask Chris to come along but I was certain he had already made some other plans. And I don’t want everyone to know I lost my wallet.” Victor quickly delivers an excuse.
Only once Yuuri nods and says he’s going to grab his coat does he realize he could have asked Yuuri out for a lunch date. He drops his head on the table. He’s such an idiot.
Yuuri walks one step behind Victor on their way to where he last used his wallet. They look everywhere but no matter how hard they do the wallet is nowhere to be found. He did find at least one rosebud and even some leaves that look familiar. He refuses to let his hope get up.
They are only a street away from where Victor said he used his wallet last when something attracts Yuuri’s attention. He’s not certain what it is, but he sees a boy at the desk of a small liquor store and something about the boy’s stance is just simply off.
He strains his ear to hear if the boy might be in trouble, seeing as he looks far too young to be buying anything in that shop to begin with.
“Look all I’m saying, Mr. Nikiforov, is that I don’t care the checker cleared your ID, I’m calling it a fake. There is simply no way that you are as old as you claim to be.”
Yuuri freezes at what he hears. That is not possible unless. He looks over at where Victor is still walking towards the shop he used his wallet. Seeing as he is too far away to get his attention without startling the boy Yuuri decides to just act.
He walks into the small shop and moves directly towards the counter. Startling both the boy, and he is a boy as Yuuri doubts he’s old enough to even drive let alone drink what he is trying to buy, and the shopkeeper.
“Excuse me, may I see that ID.” Yuuri says with his most calming tone. “I believe it is my friend’s.”
The shopkeeper is so startled he simply hands the ID over to Yuuri without any further question. One look on it tells Yuuri that it is indeed Victor’s. Which means the boy must have found the wallet.
Yuuri sighs with a soft smile appearing on his lips and turns to ask the boy to give the wallet back to him. Before he can do so the boy pushes him hard into the chest, making him crash into the counter, and runs out of the shop as if the devil himself is hunting him.
The swear leaving Yuuri’s lips has the shopkeeper take a step back, not that Yuuri notices as he is already running after the boy.
It doesn’t take long for Yuuri to feel the effect of missing lunch that day, or his constant restrain on his diet period, as he feels the start of fatigue setting in after only a couple of minutes.
Yuuri bites his teeth together forcing himself to continue running after the boy as he just knows that if he loses him now their chances of ever getting him again are gone. All he needs is for the boy to make a single mistake, a small hesitation, and he can get him. If he doesn’t slip up first.
He shakes his head reprimanding himself for even allowing that thought for one millisecond. He is not going to let Victor down.
Then he sees it. The break he was waiting for. The boy almost trips over a tile that’s a little crooked and it falters his run.
Before he can pick it up again Yuuri’s on top of him, tackling him to the ground just as he had been taught by his sister and her friends when he was younger.
Minimum damage, maximum effect.
“Oy! Get off of me you perv.” The boy bucks like a skittish horse, moving his elbow at the same time clearly trying to get Yuuri to let go. “I’ve got no time for this. Let go!!”
“Not till you return that wallet you got that ID from.” Yuuri says while trying to will air back in his lungs. Turning the boy over so that he can get a better look at them. At least if he needs to he will be able to describe him. Green eyes burn into his like an angry kitten.
“I have no idea what you are talking about.” The kick to his chest sends Yuuri tumbling over, hitting his hip painfully on something and scraping his hand on something else.
He pinches his eyes when the sting of pain shoots up, gasping for air trying not to swear again. He hears the boy scurry up and … There’s a loud swear.
Yuuri opens his eyes, completely expecting the boy to have run away. Instead he sees two dirty sneakers dangling about two inches from the ground. Moving his sight up slowly he finds the boy being held up by the collar of his jacket. Not unlike how one would grab hold of an unruly kitten.
“Yuuri are you okay.”
“As if you care. Let go.”
“Could be worse…”
Both Victor and Yuuri look at the boy who scowls at them both deeply. It takes Victor only a short moment but suddenly his whole face brightens up.
“Ah. You are the florist’s boy. He called you Yuratchka which must be a short for Yuri then.” Victor seems very pleased. “Yuuri. This kid works in the shop I used my wallet last, he’s bound to know if I might have left it there.”
The sheer joy on Victor’s face makes Yuuri almost forget the situation they are in. That is till he sees the involuntary hand twitch this Yuratchka makes. Yuuri just looks at the boy with the same disappointed look he knows he always got from Minako if he had been found sneaking about again. Then sighs.
“I think checking his inner pocket would work just fine. After all he was using your ID when I caught him trying to buy alcohol, so I would not be surprised if he has it there.”
Victor blinks a bit for a moment before lowering the boy back to his feet. His hand slips into the boy’s pocket and Yuuri can see the moment is fingers touch something they know. Slowly Victor draws his wallet from Yura’s pocket.
“It seems it was there.” Victor sighs deeply, letting go of the collar. “Now I could foolishly hope you were going to return this, but seeing as you were trying to break the law I fear that wasn’t the case. Wonder what your grandfather has to say about that. Yura.”
“It’s Yuri for you.” The boy says between clenched teeth. “I didn’t give you permission to be familiar with me.”
“Ah.” Victor grins, leans forward, and boops Yuri’s nose with his wallet. “Then there is no reason for me not to call in the cops. After all we have theft, underage alcohol purchases, and attacking a person attempting to do a citizen's arrest.”
Yuuri sees the color drain from Yuri’s face. The scared, shaken, look makes him look even younger than Yuuri already thought he was.
“You can’t do that. Grandfather needs me!” Yuri’s voice wobbles. “He can’t do it on his own. If I don’t get the extra money he… we… “
Both look amazed at the boys ability to prevent himself from crying.
“I’ll tell them it’s all a lie. That you tried to attack me.” There is a defiance in Yuri’s stance that reminds Yuuri of himself when he tries to convince himself the voices in his head are lying.
Victor steps forward to say something but is stopped the moment Yuuri places his hand over his arm. A small shake of the head deflates all his intent to bully the boy into talking some more.
Yuuri leans up against Victor’s arm a bit. “If you know his grandfather it’s best if we go there. Should he not know why his grandson is hanging about in the streets instead of being in school.” Yuuri eyes Yuri quickly. “He might present himself older I seriously doubt he’s old enough to have finished high school yet. Which means he’s skipping classes.”
“My grades are good enough, and it’s not like they even care.” Yura looks away with a small scowl between his eyebrows.
“Doesn’t attendance count toward your final grade as well?” Yuuri speaks softly, trying to get Yuri to look at him again. Which he does. With a mean glare.
“As long as I’m there for all the tests, exams, and turn in any essays or schoolworks that are desired, they really do not care if you actually attend classes. They’re too low funded to send kids to detention anyway, most they can do is give you a warning and maybe have you suspended for a few days.” Yuri shrugs. “My grades are good enough to deal with that.”
Victor makes a sound like he was stomped on his foot. When Yuuri looks he sees the utter shock on the face he had admired for so long. “Victor??”
“But your future? Surely any college or university will look into your attendance to assess your qualification. If you slack off now you will inevitably deter the rest of your life.”
Yuri snorts. “Dude. I’m going to the cheapest school in the district because we don’t have the money to get me in a better one. Do you really think we have the money to get me into college? Let alone a university! We’re not all born from money like you, standing here being all high and mighty in your fancy suit, after dropping nearly a grand like it’s nothing.”
Victor’s mouth drops open. “Yeah, that got you right.”
Yuri turns to Yuuri. “If you really need to know, I have a classmate that keeps me updated while I run odd jobs to get us some extra cash. The liquor I was buying is my grandfather’s favorite. It’s his birthday soon and I wanted to surprise him with it.”
“What’s in it for the classmate?” Victor interrupts while looking deeply in thought.
Yuri shrugs. “He sucks at writing essays, but he is really good in sports. So as long as he keeps his grades up he can get a scholarship for a university with his athletic ability. Also every time he gets good grades his parents buy something in our shop, so it’s a double win for me.”
“How is that a double win?” Victor looks up confused. “The only win I hear is that his parents buy at your grandfather?”
Yuri shakes his head. “He needs me to stay in class, he needs me to not get suspended or expelled. So if he tells the teacher I went to the nurses office they believe him. I can do my odd jobs, he keeps me updated on the work, and we both get what we want.”
“Don’t you want a higher education?” Victor looks puzzled. “I mean if your grades are that good you could apply for a scholarship as well. Once done…”
“And who’s going to keep my grandfather well? You?” Yuri shakes his head. “We need the extra money there’s simply noth…”
“Sure.” Victor smiles brightly. “I’ll even pay for you to attend a better school if you promise to put in the effort needed. I mean, I make enough with my job to do so, so why not?”
Before either Yuuri or Yuri can say anything Victor’s already grabbed their wrists and sets off in a startling speed to who knows where. Although it doesn’t seem long for Yuri to understand.
“Let go! You can’t just tell my grandfather. Stop!”
Yuri struggles to get his wrist out of Victor’s hold. But to no avail.
Yuuri had never realized just how strong Victor actually was. In all his thoughts Victor had always had these soft gentle hands, now though he was confronted with some calloused digits that screamed they knew how to be used. And knew how to use things.
He looked sideways when he heard a soft snarl. Yuri was glaring at him even more than before.
“Make him unhand me.” When Yuuri only stares at him dumbfoundedly. “He’ll listen to you. He’d done so before. Make him stop.”
Realizing that Victor had indeed stopped when he had intervened he feels his head getting a bit light. This makes him almost trip.
“Victor please stop for a moment.” Yuuri says it no louder than a whisper but Victor indeed stops.
“What is it Yuuri, do you need something?” Victor looks around worried, but doesn’t let go of either of their wrists.
“Just,” his voice falters “what are you going to tell Yuri’s grandfather. I know you. There’s no way you want to get him into trouble and the truth will do just that. So what were you planning to do?”
Victor stares at him for a moment. Then slowly he nods and sighs.
“Right. We need a mode of operandi. Like when we try to get a company to pick us over anyone else offering them a deal.” Victor nods.
He lets go of Yuuri’s wrist to tap his finger on his lips for a minute.
“I’ve got it. It’s the perfect story.” Victor beams at both of them. He grabs Yuuri’s hand and sets off again.
Nikolai sits down in the chair that is set up in the back office of his old flower shop.
When he had greeted the costumer from that morning asking if the flowers had been received well he had not expected to see him and the one whose hand he was holding turn such a deep red, nor had he expected to see the man keep a hold on his grandson’s wrist like that either. He hadn’t even noticed Yura til the boy had called them both perverts.
So he seriously did not expect to be given such an offer by the man, this Victor Nikiforov, it just could not be true.
“But Sir. Honestly, why?” It wasn’t that he did not want his Yura to get the best, he had been working day and night to help him get it, he just could not believe things like this were real.
It’s the other man, named similar to his Yura, that answers.
“Because he has potential. Plus with a mind like his we would be fools not to nurture that.”
Victor starts nodding. “I remember when my uncle gave me my first job. As long as I did my best I would get rewarded. And basically isn’t that how life should be. That those that work hard reap the benefits?”
Yuuri smiles at him, giving him the energy to go on. “This morning he already proved to have a head for business. And with my wallet he proved to have a good heart. He deserves to be put in a position that he can benefit from both. So please Mister Plisetsky let us do this.”
“Still.” The old man shakes his head, catching the downtrodden expression on Yura’s face in the corner of his eye. That sets his mind straight. His Yura deserves this. His Yura deserves the world. If he can’t provide it himself why not let these two men do it for him.
“If you are absolutely serious. Paying for his education, getting me a help in the shop so that he has time to experience more of the world, letting him intern at your office.” Nikolai sits up straight and nods. “You’ll have to get some legal work done. I’m getting older and, well, I might be crazy but I trust you two. So if you agree to take care of him if anything happens to me before he is all grown up we have a deal.”
Yuuri walks out of the flower shop with Victor only a few steps behind him. Nikolai had served them with his homemade Pirozky’s while they discussed all the details so neither was hungry anymore.
Yakov had yelled at Victor when he had called in to inform their boss they would likely not make it back into the office before the end of the day.
Phichit had been making whoo whoo sounds till Yuuri had hung up and texted him to bring Yuuri’s backpack to his apartment.
Victor had been surprised to find out that even though they were roommates they rarely arrived at the office together. And had laughed when Yuuri explained he was not a morning person unlike his roommate. This had led to a system of Phichit waking up early to make their breakfast and lunches, and Yuuri to buy all the snacks for movie nights and to do all the dinners. It worked perfect except for those mornings Yuuri would fall back asleep after Phichit already left. Which his friend helped with by setting up a variety of alarms throughout the house.
“I’m glad we found my wallet, though I would have still liked to have shown you that place for lunch.” Victor smiles softly.
Yuuri looks away at the setting sun for a moment, it’s light reflecting on the sparkle in his eyes.
“Well.” He turns to look at Victor.
“I can always tell Phichit he needs to go out for a pizza with a friend, and you could come over for dinner instead.” He sucks in his bottom lip and bites hard when he realizes what he just did.
There is a odd squeaking sound that makes Yuuri look up startled. Victor is staring at him with large moist eyes and the greatest grin on his face.
“You mean it?” Yuuri nods. “But… but… why?”
“Well I could give a lot of reasons, most of them though are still decorating my desk in the office. Unless Phichit chartered our colleagues to get them to our apartment instead.”
Victor’s cheeks turn a delighted pink. “So you know.”
“I managed to piece it all together eventually.” Yuuri smiles at him. “So. Dinner at my place?”
In the end the people in the office started to get used to the amount of flowers that would get delivered. If it wasn’t Yuuri that received them, it was Victor. Or the new intern, who managed to get away with calling both of them idiots most of the time.