In all that had happened in the last few weeks, it had been so long since they had time to actually relax and enjoy each other’s company - longer if you didn’t count the last time they did, and a school bus crashed through the 2nd floor of the mall.
Whoever they tell the story to always ends up half-laughing, half-bewildered; a school bus crashing through the second floor of a mall???? It’s funny to think back on, but at the time it had been horrifying - and really inconvenient. It had ruined their date.
So here they were, nervously looking around, hoping that another bus wouldn’t come barreling through the walls, trying again.
“Hey Tomoe!” Maria noticed Tomoe first, and rushed up to her, holding a massive bouquet in her arms. Almost subconsciously, Tomoe quickly identified the flowers - and their meanings.
“Camellias? Daisies? Pink Roses? Are these- forget-me-nots?” Tomoe quirked an eyebrow, but couldn’t hide the appreciative blush on her face. “You know your stuff, Maria.”
Maria flushed almost as pink as the roses. “No it’s just- um- since you gave me those lotuses before you left - Hank told me they meant ‘far from the one they love’,” she lifted a hand to the back of her head, smiling brightly. “I wanted to return the favour.”
Picking one of the white camellias from the bunch, Tomoe took a hairpin from her pocket and pinned the flower in Maria’s hair, murmuring, “I’ve been waiting to see you too,” over the cacophony of the crowd in the mall.
“You know, Maria, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in anything other than shorts,” Tomoe smirked, taking her girlfriend’s arm in her own.
“Hey! How am I supposed to run in anything else?” Her tone morphed into mock-offense, but she grinned only wider. “C’mon, let’s go. Try and avoid the second floor this time.”
“Sounds good,” Tomoe replied, already dragging the two of them towards the small cafe on the corner, marvelling at how Maria’s eyes always brightened whenever she looked at Tomoe, as if she was a goddess to be revered.
Through the happiness of being able to relax, to melt into each other again, it isn’t until later, when the two of them are slotted comfortably into a booth at the back of the cafe, after banter and terrible flirting attempts, does Tomoe say; “If I were to stray from the path of honour, it’d be worth it for you.”
Maria, who had been taking a sip of her coffee at the time, nearly chokes.
Trying her hardest to regain her composure, she coughs out, “Really?”
“Really,” Tomoe says, and her heart and her hands are full of simmering, comforting heat when she takes Maria’s in her own, “I love you.”
Hidden by the flowers they had set on the table, Maria kisses her - properly, unlike stolen moments at the hospital or interrupted dates like the last time they came here.
“I love you too,” she replies, the petals of the camellia curling into her hair. They no longer need to wait. “Nerd.”