I. Gardenia (you're lovely)
When it came to romance, or cheesy confessions, Daisuke was not as smooth as everyone made him out to be. He was awkward as hell. Clumsy with words. Always said the wrong things. And dear god , if someone even dared to confess to him outright, there was a very high chance that they would never see him again.
It was safe to say that feelings were not for him.
So, when Daisuke had opened the drawer to his desk, only to see a flower placed gracefully on top of a green folder inside, it should not have come off as a surprise that his first reaction was to close the drawer as quickly as he had opened it.
It was an instinctive reaction.
Daisuke cursed under his breath; his heart in his throat, his narrowed eyes rooted on the drawer – as if the piece of furniture was cursed and would bite his hand off the moment he took his eyes off it.
Was he even hearing himself?
There was a moment of deliberation, to open it or not, to face the threat head-on or not, but then, Daisuke decided the former, sighing softly and shaking his head.
He was being pathetic . Overthinking too much when the flower could mean anything – literally. Maybe someone wanted to reward him for his hard work as a police officer. Or maybe he had helped someone ages ago and they wanted to show their appreciation for him. Given his line of work, it could mean a thousand different things that had nothing to do with romance.
(But, why did it have to be a flower?). His gut protested, but he squashed the feeling like the bug it was.
Determined to see this through, Daisuke opened the drawer again, and with still shaky fingers, he picked up the flower, bringing the delicate blossom right in front of his eyes.
For a long minute, Daisuke stared at the flower – transfixed and still very, very confused. It was an exquisite flower, white in colour, fully bloomed – and, he brought the flower closer to his nose and sniffed – the smell was heavenly, the perfect amount of sweetness.
If this was merely a friendly gesture, it wouldn’t hurt him to keep it, right? Yes, Daisuke nodded to himself, twirling the flower between his fingers. Throwing it away would be too cruel – more for the flower than the person that gave it to him, hah.
Who was this mysterious person though? No note, no signature, nothing. The question bugged him more than it should, and Daisuke stood up from his seat, looking around the office. Except for him, it was empty. Maybe, the person was nearby ? He strode over to the door and poked his head out of the door, looking for anyone in the hallway. Not a soul. Daisuke even went as far as checking under the desks, behind doors and cupboards – and still, he found no one.
With a sigh, he then proceeded to ask the one person that he trusted the most – HEUSC.
“HEUSC, show me the footage from two hours ago.”
“My apologies, Sir. Only the first division is authorized to access this footage. You signed an agreement with the Commissioner for this before you joined the second division.”
Well, fuck. Daisuke had forgotten about it. In order to access the footage, it might take days, and even weeks to obtain the authorization and the stack of paperwork he had to go through…
Daisuke could not be bothered to go through all that for one little (and very beautiful) flower. It was not like he was going to get another one, right?
He heaved a sigh.
Feeling mentally exhausted, Daisuke flopped down on his chair, picked up the flower again, and stared at it for another long minute, trying to wrap his mind around the idea of receiving this.
It was indeed so beautiful, so ethereal. Was it even real? Were his eyes playing a trick on him?
Anything could be possible at this point.
For context, Daisuke had a bit too much to drink last night (blame Suzue and her childish antics).
He decided to ask his trusted partner again, just to be certain.
“What do you see?”
“A flower, Sir. A gardenia to be exact.”
Daisuke pursed his lips. “So I am not hallucinating?”
There was a pause. HEUSC never paused. “You certainly are not, Sir.” If HEUSC could laugh, they probably would – because Daisuke was being a little too ridiculous at the moment.
However, what was even more ridiculous was that Daisuke spent half an hour silently staring at the gardenia – and only slid the white bloom in the safety of his inner pocket when the office began to fill with his colleagues.
It would be a waste to throw this stunning gardenia away now, wouldn’t it?
II. Red Tulip (declaration of love)
When Daisuke thought that this was only a one-time thing, he could have never been more wrong . Because, the moment he sat down on his chair again, there it was, right in front of his eyes – another flower, even more beautiful than the last one, placed in the middle of his desk, again with no note.
Was someone pranking him?
“Oh?” Kamei came right from behind him (great, just what Daisuke needed), with a sandwich stuffed in his mouth and his eyebrows doing that wriggly thing that proved he was up to no good. Daisuke wanted to smack his face – preferably with a chair.
“Is someone trying to woo the great Kambe Daisuke?”
Daisuke blinked. Now , he was confused.
“What do you mean?” He looked down at the flower again and his fingers absentmindedly caressed the soft petals, admiring the way the telepathic red petals decorated the black centre of the blossom, like small, red shoulders protecting their queen. By the shape of the flower, it looked like a tulip – Daisuke was not too well-versed when it came to flowers, surprise, surprise – but he was right when Kamei pointed it out.
“This flower is a red tulip,” Kamei pointed his finger towards the flower, a playful grin playing on his face. He felt proud of himself that he knew something the older detective did not – and that showed clearly on his face (Daisuke’s urge to smack him only got stronger). “It means a declaration of love.”
“Someone is proclaiming their feelings for you. Kambe-san.”
Feelings for me?
Daisuke sputtered out a voiceless protest. No. Not happening. But despite this, he did not need HEUSC to tell him the state of his heart – because Daisuke could clearly hear it; his heart racing; thumping loudly in his ears – ba-thump, ba-thump, ba-thump – like he was in a fucking parade.
Buggers. So, his gut was right all along? – someone was indeed professing their love to him? But, it could be a simple crush, something that would go away if he ignored it. Professionals had to deal with this kind of stuff all the time, right?
Maybe, Daisuke was more popular than he had imagined himself to be.
With a frown, Daisuke grabbed the gardenia from his pocket (don’t ask him why he still had it) and shoved it, not-so-nicely, into Kamei’s face, “Does this flower mean something to you?”
Kamei had the audacity to laugh. “Someone is definitely trying to woo you.”
The stern glare in his direction shut him up immediately, and Kamei coughed behind the back of his hand, clearing his throat and getting straight to the point.
Kambe could be scary when he wanted to be.
(To Daisuke, this skill came in handy whenever he wanted to get out answers from intimidating criminals – or happy-go-lucky idiots like Kamei).
“It means you are very lovely .” With a forced smile, Kamei said; the pitch of his tone pretty sketchy on the last word, “Which I am sure you are.” I just haven’t seen it yet. Kamei wanted to add, but he valued his life, thank you.
Oh . Daisuke blinked, feeling confused, flustered. So the person thought he was lovely too? Daisuke took in a deep breath. His brain screamed red flags, warned him not to dwell on this situation any further – but his heart, dear goodness, told him a whole different story.
It welcomed these tokens of affection; love – by thundering loudly against his ribcage. Daisuke quickly decided to change the topic.
“How do you know this again?”
Kamei grinned again, scratching the back of his head sheepishly, “Because I used the same technique on my girlfriend.”
There was a pause.
“Oh ?” Daisuke stared at him for a long minute – eye narrowed; lips pursed – and Kamei (it took him a moment to figure out the meaning behind the stare) pushed his hands up in defence, shaking his head quickly in denial.
“It’s not me. I’m not gay.”
“Hoshino begs to differ.”
Kamei sputtered, and Daisuke had to refrain himself from laughing.
III. Pink Camellias (longing for you)
As long as Daisuke could remember, he did not have a strong fondness for confectionaries – or anything alike. But, everything changed; his tastes evolved the fateful day Saeki decided to give him this jelly candy – which came in different forms and colours, Daisuke adored the fish one. It had almost become a ritual for him – to get up from his seat during each break, stride towards the cupboard, and grab a packet of gummy bears (as Saeki had nicely informed him) to eat during lunch.
It was better than real food, okay.
This was how Daisuke found himself in a similar predicament – he found a third flower, tucked behind the countless packages of gummy bears, looking like a rare beauty in the midst of jelly beasts.
Daisuke narrowed his eyes. He was not expecting this – again. It had been one week since the last flower; he had thought his secret admirer (as Kamei would like to call them) had given up by now – but nope, merely a wishful thought on his side.
Daisuke sighed in exasperation. With one hand, he grabbed two packages from the cupboard, one for him, one for Saeki (sharing was caring – not his words), and with the other one, he collected the flower, gently; his grip much more delicate this time around.
Even if the presence of another flower brought up mixed feelings within him, especially since he did not know who was behind this fiasco, Daisuke could not bring himself to damage the bloom – not in any form, not even accidentally.
His heart would ache otherwise – this treacherous thing.
“Here you go, Saeki-san,” The package, containing the jelly-goodness, was pushed into her waiting hands; Saeki smiled, a little too bright, and said a cheerful ‘thank you’. His heart swelled, only a tiny bit. These interactions with Saeki-san had developed a somewhat friendship between them.
Daisuke flopped down on the empty space beside her, the packet (his share) cold on his lap, and the flower warm in his hand. He should be eating; gobbling down the gummy bears under a period of ten minutes like he used to – but how could he when the flower was right there … asking for his absolute attention?
Impossible . Warmth settled in his chest, like the blanket his mother used to place on his when he was a mere child. This time around, his gift, this flower, was much smaller in size compared to the previous ones, adorned with pink petals that surrounded the golden core of the bloom – and the fragrance, dear god, was so pleasing.
Whoever was sending him these flowers had an exquisite taste, Daisuke had to give that to them.
It was a good enough of a compliment, mind you.
His silence, and the fact that he had yet to open the package, caught Saeki’s attention; and she looked up from her confectionaries, intending to ask her queries.
“Why aren’t you eating, Kambe–oh lord.” Her words stopped in mid-sentence the second she noticed the cause of his silence – her eyes freezing on the flower in his hand; her lips forming a small ‘o.’
If it was any other person, they would have laughed. But alas, Daisuke was not ‘any other person.’
“Oh my !” Saeki shrieked; the sound loud enough to hurt Daisuke’s eardrums. “What do we have here?” She brought her head closer to his hand, inspecting the open bloom with fascination. With the distance shortened between them, Daisuke noticed a small badge, pink in colour, pinned to her beige sweater. Wasn’t Kamei also wearing one – but in light blue? Weird.
But, who was he kidding? Everyone in the second division was some kind of weird – except him, of course.
“This is one gorgeous flower, Kambe-kun.” Saeki giggled more; her eyes big and sparkly. Her fingers touched the bright petals, stroking softly – and Daisuke felt this sudden tightness in his chest. Mine.
He quickly swatted away the feeling.
Clearing his throat, Daisuke merely nodded in agreement. Just like the others. He left that part unsaid.
“I didn’t know you had a girlfriend.”
“I don’t .” The look Saeki shot him implied that she was not convinced. Daisuke pursed his lips. Was it that hard to believe?
“Don’t joke with me, Kambe-kun.” His side was elbowed, and Daisuke twitched, visibly, “Do you even know what this flower, this pink camellia, stands for?
“Enlighten me.” Sarcasm was not his forte . But, was it just him or suddenly everyone knew too much about flowers?
“Longing for you,” Saeki murmured her voice soft, “That’s what it means.” There was a flicker of fondness in her eyes and her smile grew even more, “I used to grow these flowers back home with my mother in our garden. Good old memories, hmm.”
But, Daisuke was not listening. His brain had stopped working around the point of the first sentence. It must have shown on his face – because Saeki patted his back, almost too pityingly (Daisuke tried not to take any offence – keyword: tried ).
“So, if not a girlfriend, from whom then?”
Daisuke shrugged, and then sighed, the sound becoming very familiar to his ears this past couple of days. At this rate, he was going to age very quickly from all the stress – starting from his hair.
His eyebrows scrunched up together. “For once in my life, I have no idea, Saeki-san.” Daisuke murmured, feeling a little bit defeated. But, even with that said, Daisuke did not throw away the flower.
Instead, the bloom went where other flowers went – into his inner pocket. His porcelain vase kept growing and kept becoming more diverse every day now, didn’t it?
Saeki interjected here and there, saying things like ‘isn’t this person sweet?’ or ‘maybe you should give them a chance?’ or something along those lines – but once again, Daisuke was not listening.
He had one goal in mind.
“Get me that authorization.”
It was high time to go through all that paperwork.
IV. Stock (bonds of affection; you'll always be beautiful to me)
This was getting out of hand. Most of the time, things were quiet and uneventful in the second division, as all the important cases went to the first division. He did not mind – not at all (sarcasm ) – but as a result of not having much work, it was safe to say that Daisuke had abundant time on his hands.
He could always work on reports, but what was Kamei for?
Therefore, his time was usually spent on either playing games on his phone (or with HEUSC) or reading a book.
Moby Dick. His current obsession.
The book was always kept in his locker (everyone had their own and even if there was no lock to the locker, the privacy was respected – the one important rule in the office).
But, when Daisuke had opened the book, to the page he had bookmarked, it looked as if someone had violated that rule – because his nightmare (or was it dream come true?) was right in front of his eyes, snugged into the centre of the white pages, looking intimidating, dauntless, and beautiful.
Did Daisuke mind another flower? He refused to comment.
The petals were a bit crumpled on the sides – his secret admirer did not think too much about that, huh – but what caught his attention was the way the flower was designed: four cross-shaped flowers decorated the green stem, with oval, green leaves attached to the stem.
The shape was unique, just like this feeling worming its way through his heart.
Teppei, who was sitting beside him, arched an eyebrow, “So, Kamei was right when he said someone was trying to woo you, huh.”
Damn, that Kamei and his big mouth.
“You don’t know that.”
“A stock flower, Kambe.” Teppei grinned, hints of coyness in his voice and eyes, “You must be a fool to think otherwise.”
He was a fool – in many ways, as it seemed.
Daisuke frowned. “I am assuming that you know what this flower means then?” He said; his tone curt. Did the second division take a class in flower language that he did not know about?
Not to mention that the familiar-looking badge, green in colour, pinned to the right side of Teppei’s jacket. The second division had their own little thing, huh. Daisuke frowned.
Now, he felt left out.
“This flower has a name, Kambe,” Teppei said, offended. “It’s called a stock.” There was a disappointed shake of Teppei’s head, and Daisuke pursed his lips – feeling exasperated. Teppei was only fueling his annoyance further by continuing to talk about things he could care less about. Dear Lord, help him.
“It’s a good thing that my sister made me read her language of flowers book over winter, huh?” Teppei crossed his arms against his chest, a proud look on his face, “You would have been a clueless fool otherwise.”
Not true, but okay. If looks could kill, the older inspector would be on the floor. Expired.
“What does the stock mean, Teppei-san?” Be kind, Daisuke, be kind. Someone once said that killing was not a virtue.
And that it was very illegal too.
Teppei looked pleased, to the point of getting very annoying. Daisuke took a deep breath, calming down his nerves. It was not the time to lose his shit, not until he got the information he wanted.
“Well, Kambe.” There was that grin again. Daisuke almost choked on his nerves. “It means that someone is thinking of you very affectionately…” Teppei let the sentence trail off meaningfully, tapping his finger on his cheek contemplatively “…But there’s another meaning, something even more captivating.”
Affectionately ? Daisuke’s treacherous heart skipped a beat, and he absentmindedly averted his eyes down to the floor, suddenly feeling a little too overwhelmed. But that did not stop him from asking, “What is it?” He pressed, sounding more urgent than his face let on.
“You will always be beautiful to me. This is what the stock actually means.”
All was silent for a few, tense moments.
There was a sudden tightness in his chest; warmth spread through his veins, and Daisuke had a hard time breathing; to even think .
Teppei’s words kept repeating in his head like a mantra.
Daisuke did not need a mirror to know that his face looked like the halves of a pomegranate. The knowing look thrown by Teppei was also not left unnoticed.
Daisuke ducked his head, in embarrassment. Just who was this person?
After a moment, Daisuke spoke; voice suddenly thick with emotions.
“I see. Thank you.”
This person was… so cheesy; so unexpected – and for once, Daisuke found himself liking the attention. Nobody had gone to these lengths for him before – and he felt appreciated, more than he should.
There was another moment of silence before Teppei cleared his throat, gaining a set of blazing blue eyes on him – staring; riddled with emotions. Teppei spared his shoes a look. If he was brutally honest, the intensity behind Kambe’s gaze did make him feel a tiny bit overwhelmed.
Not that Kambe needed to know, hah.
“Any idea who sent it?” Teppei directed the topic to another direction, something less emotional, something he knew Kambe would be more curious about; and it worked because Kambe looked down again, shaking his head.
“No.” If Daisuke knew, they certainly would not be having this conversation.
“Really?” Teppei grinned. “Well, someone must really be into you then, Kambe. These flowers need a lot of attention and care to grow this beautifully.” A smirk, and then, another chuckle, “Lucky man.”
Daisuke sent him a look but Teppei merely laughed more, turning around on his seat and getting back to working on his report. It was a pity that his look only worked on the likes of Kamei.
Heaving a sigh, Daisuke’s eyes strayed towards the flower again, and his heart swelled once more. He needed to find this person as soon as possible. It was not good for his heart.
V. Azalea (take care of yourself for me)
No damn luck.
For fourteen fucking days, three hours, and some minuscule seconds, Daisuke had been extremely patient, a little too laid-back, and still , the authorization to access the footage (of inside the building) was not granted to him. His request was still pending, constantly reminding him; taunting him for being a halfwit and signing those documents without the proper considerations.
It was the most foolish decision Daisuke had made during his lifetime, hands down.
Why was it even taking so long? Dear heavens. Even his wealth was useless in this scenario.
But, this was only the initial taste. His bad luck did not end there. During a mission, Daisuke was pushed down the stairs – he was rushed into the hospital right away, but not before his colleagues caught that motherfucker (excuse his language) – but that fall hurt like a bitch.
Daisuke swore that he heard his bones break, ah.
He should have been more careful of his surroundings (Kiyomizu made that very clear), but with the sudden piling of cases (first division was already too busy and Daisuke wanted to help the other members of MCPTF – he took his job seriously, y’ know), his exhaustion had taken a serious toll on his health. Daisuke barely slept, barely ate, and Jesus, those cups of coffee did nothing to keep his exhaustion at bay.
So a result, for four days, he had been at the hospital with a broken leg and a downright high fever – and not able to leave for another three. Daisuke was bored; extremely tired of not doing anything.
He was losing his mind.
These white walls, these pristine, white sheets and the constant beeping of the heart monitor – ah, Daisuke sighed – did not make the situation even slightly better.
His mind wandered (can you blame him?), and his thoughts strayed to that person.
Were there more flowers? Did the person even know that he was in the hospital? What if the flowers lost their beauty; turned rotten – all because he was stuck in the hospital and did not find them on time?
Stop. Daisuke clicked his tongue. Was he even hearing himself?
The knock against the door saved Daisuke from questioning his sanity further, and the familiar voice that followed the knocking calmed the chaos in his mind.
It was Suzue – the only one that cared for him more than life itself.
“Daisuke, may I enter?" Suzue asked, "I brought you some homemade cooking.” Her words were music to his ears, and Daisuke gave a satisfied grunt. Suzue knew him well. He was getting tired of the hospital food.
“C’mon in.” His voice was hoarse; sketchy, like there was something stuck in his throat, and he sneezed, quickly covering his nose with a tissue.
He felt like shit.
Upon entry, Suzue gave him a sympathetic look. “How are you feeling?”
“Worse than yesterday.”
“You need to take care more of yourself, Suke.” Suzue sighed, plopped herself on the chair beside his bedside, and then, proceeded to open the bento box in her hands. “I even brought you your favourite. Chicken curry and boiled rice with the perfect amount of salt and pepper. Only for my favourite brother.”
“Your only brother.” His face twisted into a smirk (Suzue shot him a friendly scorn), and excitedly, Daisuke accepted the bento box and the spoon into his open hands, sniffing softly. The tangy smell of the curry wafted through his nostrils, and all of a sudden, he was back into a small apartment, with his mother cooking a delicious pot of curry on a late afternoon, with him in her other arm, holding his smaller body close to her.
The corner of his eyes stung but Daisuke batted the moisture away. It was one of the only memories he treasured with his late mother as a child – and this smell, this specific curry, after almost nineteen years, brought all the buried feelings to the surface.
It smelled like his mother’s curry – absolutely heavenly.
Daisuke shot her a grateful look, which in return, Suzue merely smiled, understanding his silent look of appreciation instantly.
They were close like that – him and Suzue, from a very young age.
“You can thank me later.” Suzue grinned, “You need to take your medication soon, y’ know.”
Suzue was bossy as ever.
“Okay, Mom.” For that, Daisuke received a smack on the back of his head (he deserved it), and then, he proceeded to pick up the spoon to finally dig into his delicious meal (his taste buds were going haywire) . But , his hand stopped midway. Because from the corner of his eyes, Daisuke spotted an oddity against the white furniture – something that was not there before; something that took a form of a small, brown box, placed comfortably on the white cabinet beside him.
Daisuke blinked. What? Suzue must have placed it there while he was too busy drooling over the delightful-smelling meal.
Curiously, Daisuke picked up the package, turning it around and inspecting it carefully. Surely enough, the parcel was addressed to him .
He scowled, already knowing deep down the contents inside the box.
“What is this?” Daisuke’s gaze came to rest on Suzue and his eyebrows lifted. Confusedly, Suzue merely blinked in return, “A parcel…?”
“Suzue. ” There was a subtle warning on the edge of his tone, and Suzue quickly replied, laughing softly to diffuse the situation.
Suzue had learned her lesson the first time. A mixture of a sick and angry Daisuke was not the ideal Daisuke to deal with, trust her on this.
“No idea, Suke. I checked it for explosives and whatnot and found nothing. So it’s probably not too dangerous?” She scratched the back of her head sheepishly. “If you want, I can open it for you now. I didn’t want to invade your privacy.”
At this point, Daisuke was not listening (he was doing that a lot lately, huh?). Instead, he was so preoccupied with ripping the parcel open, with as much finesse his shaky fingers could muster that he did not see Suzue observing him, with a knowing smile and a curious glint.
And just like he thought, it was another flower, bright pink in colour, with a white trim that decorated the edges of each petal, wrapped in a blue napkin.
Daisuke inhaled a sharp breath. It was ethereal.
Intense sapphire orbs regarded Suzue questioningly.
“Did you see them?” Daisuke coughed, tone urgent, “The one who sent this package?” He coughed more, and Suzue rubbed his back soothingly.
“I didn’t. The nurse behind the counter gave it to me when I asked for your room number earlier.”
The wheels in his head started turning. Daisuke grabbed his earlobe; his voice urgent. “HEUSC, connect to the hospital’s cameras. Track this person down.”
The reply was quick – as expected of HEUSC, “Akito Nakamura, twenty-five years old, born in Tokyo, and has been working in Japan Post for the past two years.”
A regular employee then, huh. Daisuke sighed, but then, continued to ask HEUSC to see if he could obtain the sender’s name or anything related to their identity. The answer came negative, and Daisuke let a frustrated sound, burying his face into his hands.
He was so close.
“Daisuke, you need to rest,” Suzue interjected, smiling reassuringly, “We will definitely find this person when you get better okay?”
Daisuke shook his head, sighing, and then, picked up the flower, cradling it against his chest – delicately and almost too lovingly. It was a strange feeling to be kept in the dark; to not be certain of what was going on around him – but it made Daisuke feel so alive; so energetic for once.
And all thanks to these alluring flowers – and the mystery that surrounded them.
Preoccupied with his thoughts, Daisuke failed to notice the grin spreading on Suzue’s face.
“My, my, Suke. Someone really cares about you, don’t they?”
A fine eyebrow was arched. “Why do you say that?” If Daisuke wasn’t mistaken, the conversation was sounding very similar to the ones he had with his colleagues.
Suzue simply chuckled; sapphire orbs twinkling under the artificial light.
“It’s an azalea,” She pointed out, as a matter-of-fact, her lips twisting into a wide grin, “And it means that you need to take care of yourself for me.”
Daisuke’s heart fluttered. Quietly. Secretly. And to make matters even worse… Suzue ruffled his perfectly-styled hair in affection.
Talk about, ew. He had to call Hattori again now.
“Someone else, besides me, seems to be worried about you, huh, Daisuke?”
Daisuke had no response.
His throat was suddenly dry. His hands were suddenly sweaty and sticky. And there was this sudden warmth to his cheeks that would just not go away. So, this person knew he was in the hospital. This person knew his daily routine. This person was allowed to freely roam the MCPTF quarters.
In conclusion, this person might have some kind of high jurisdiction in MCPTF, right? But who ?
“How do you know that?” Narrowed sapphire eyes met with a pair of widened ones, and Daisuke leaned back into the headboard, regarding Suzue with a calculating gaze. He had no recollection of telling Suzue or even mentioning to her, about the flowers he was receiving.
Suspicion rapidly rose to his chest. There was no reason for Suzue to even know what the flower was, let alone what it stood for. The bloom was as rare as it came.
…Did Suzue know who it was all along?
After all, this would have not been the first his sister meddled with his love life.
“HEUSC.” Her answer was short and immediate.
His suspicion did not get satisfied. “Why did you ask HEUSC for the flower’s meaning, Suzue? Someone just could have sent the flower because they wanted to.”
Suzue did not miss a beat, and scooted closer, a smile playing on her lips; her eyes soft and affectionate. “Is Suke suspicious of me? Aw. ” She ruffled his already unkempt hair and Daisuke almost pouted.
“Don’t worry. Saeki-chan has been telling me everything .” Suzue grinned, “That someone is trying their best to win my very lovely brother’s heart.”
Why was everyone at MCPF such a blabbermouth? But at least now, it made sense why Suzue had asked HEUSC for the flower’s meaning.
He still had his doubts though.
Daisuke scoffed. “Not gonna happen.”
“Are you sure?” Her eyes flickered to the vase sitting elegantly on his bedside (he had ordered Hatori to bring them – they were his comfort flowers), and then, went to his hand. She stared, knowingly.
In response, he absentmindedly clutched the azalea tighter. “…Because, I think it already has.”
Daisuke looked down at his hand, and the way he was holding the flower, with both of his hands and so close to his chest, to his heart … His breath hitched and his eyes widened.
Was there some truth to Suzue’s words? Nonsense. His fever made him vulnerable, and this reaction to the bloom was only a side effect… Right?
Daisuke narrowed his eyes. Suzue really knew how to get under his skin. Damn.
With tenderness, Daisuke placed the flower into the vase (Suzue’s smirk did not go unnoticed; he ignored her) and then picked up the spoon again, digging grudgingly into his food.
The spiciness of the curry tingled his tongue, reminding him of something , and Daisuke brought the spoon closer to his nose for further inspection.
He had been meaning to ask for a while now…
“Did we hire a new chef?”
“How–” The surprise was clear as day on Suzue’s face (Daisuke raised an eyebrow, puzzled), but then, she schooled her features, shooting him a sheepish smile, “Let’s just say that.”
Daisuke looked at her for another minute, silently; contemplatively, and then shrugged, bringing the spoon to his lips again, chewing. Whatever. He decided to let the matter go. Suzue had her bizarre days and this was one of them. He was starving and the food was delicious – and therefore, nothing else mattered at the moment.
But Daisuke had to admit, the chicken curry tasted a little bit too familiar; a little too close to home – like he had tasted it before but was not unable to pinpoint where (and no , he was not talking about his mother’s cooking).
He shrugged again, stuffing his mouth with more bites. The high fever had probably dulled his senses.
VI. Carnations (sweet and lovely; my heart aches for you)
Two months – no sign of flowers. Two months and two weeks – his authorization still pending.
And to his surprise, and annoyance, the first one bothered him more.
Everyone in the First Division refused to see him, avoided him like a plague. Except for Katou – who always said his good mornings, shot him his boyish grins, and sometimes, stared at him for a minute too long.
Daisuke would be lying if he said he was not flattered.
Katou was probably one of the best partners he had in his lifetime, and during their time together – dare Daisuke say – they had become close, sharing late nights together, working and solving cases with perfection, and even… Daisuke pursed his lips, shaking his head – this was not the time to reminiscence the incident .
After Katou got his promotion, the older detective moved to the first division, and from that point onwards, their distance merely grew.
Mainly his fault – because he did not know how to keep a friendship outside of work. So, whenever he saw Hoshino and Katou working on his cases, or even walking down the hallway, together, with smiles on their faces…
It left a bitter taste in his mouth. Every single time. With his secret admirer, at least, his mind was occupied and his heart, dear Lord , was swooning with feelings that Daisuke refused to give a name to.
Did the person get tired of him? After all that effort? He narrowed his eyes. Call it a pet peeve or something, Daisuke did not like it when people left things unfinished – especially when it came to him.
At least, show me your face, damnit.
“Is a Mr. ‘Daisuke Kambe’ present?”
All eyes in the office were on the man standing in the doorway, including Daisuke’s. It was the delivery man, not a surprise there; the office was accustomed to frequent deliveries, from stationaries to valuable documents. But, what caught Daisuke’s attention, and everyone else’s in the room, was the peculiar thing the courier was holding in his arms.
Maybe, he had spoken too soon.
“Yes, I am here.” Daisuke stood up, tall (short?) and proud, and he prayed that his rapidly beating heart did not betray the expression on his face.
The courier, a man in his thirties with short brown hair, strode over to him and then, with a smile, handed him a bouquet – a beautiful arrangement of flowers, red and white in colour, and wrapped in a beige kraft paper with a loop tie. It looked so breathtaking that for a moment Daisuke forgot how to breathe.
“This is for you, Mr. Kambe!”
“Huh?” Daisuke blinked (he could hear Kamei snicker in the background), “Oh right, yes, sorry.” He cleared his throat, schooling his features, and accepting the bouquet without a second thought, “Do you know who sent it?”
A shake of the head – and the disappointment on Daisuke’s face was comprehensible.
“It was anonymous, Sir. My apologies.” The man said, taking a clipboard out from his brown bag and pointing his finger to the blank space, “I will need you to sign here!” There was that cheery smile again (was this man always this happy?), and with furrowed eyebrows, Daisuke merely nodded, signing his name on the document, and then, bidding the courier a farewell.
He, then, proceeded to stare at the bouquet for a long time – contemplatively, with wonder and appreciation, taking in every last detail into his mind.
His secret admirer had not given up as Daisuke had presumed. A rare smile played on his lips.
The MCPTF members gathered around him, curious like children, peeking over his shoulder to catch a glimpse of this magnificent arrangement of flowers. Under normal circumstances, Daisuke would have told them off, or give them one of his ‘looks’ (Saeki found them cute , curses) – but this situation was far from normal and he had more important matters to attend.
(e. g., the bouquet he was currently holding).
Curiously, Daisuke noticed a note, plucked between the gorgeous flowers, and then with his fingers, he collected it, slowly reading the words typed on the flimsy paper.
No meaning behind the flowers this time. I was just thinking that you are going to look absolutely gorgeous walking down the aisle with these pretty flowers.
There were a few snickers behind his back. Apparently, he had read that a little too loud; a little too clear – that even Cho-san was looking at him with a quirked eyebrow.
A flush of heavy embarrassment rose to his cheeks. Instinctively, Daisuke ducked his head. Shit.
“Kambe-kun, are you really getting married? Where are our invitations?”
“Are you kidding me? He gets a bouquet and I get nada?
“Ah, I’m jealous, this person seems super romantic!”
“Kambe, you little shit. This person better not be too hot.”
“What flavour will the wedding cake be?”
At that moment, Daisuke did want nothing more than to dig a hole and die a quick death.
The embarrassment did not stop there.
When Daisuke began to leave the office, with the bouquet in his arms and an expressionless face, and walked down the hallway towards the exit – it was not surprising that he garnered curious looks, some giggles, some scoffing from other police officers and detectives. He paid no heed to them – five more minutes, and he would be in the privacy of his car, driving to his grand mansion.
The thought of throwing the bouquet away did not even occur to him. It seemed that his heart became extremely attached to these flowers; to this nameless admirer that even that embarrassing note was worth it.
At least, Kamei was walking beside him. It made everything less awkward, less embarrassing, and Daisuke assumed that these were perks of hanging out with happy-go-lucky idiots.
(He was grateful).
“So, what are you gonna do with the bouquet?”
“What do you think?” His answer came out more as curt and off-putting than Daisuke had intended it to be, but as oblivious as Kamei was, he kept talking.
“You are keeping them, aren’t you?”
His silent glare was the only answer. Kamei shot him a smirk, mumbling something intangible under his breath. Daisuke could care less.
On their way, they encountered Katou and Hoshino – and that taste of bitterness came back to his mouth . Tenfold. Vigorously. Great, just what he needed now.
“Kamei,” Hoshino nodded in acknowledgement, “And Kambe-san.” His eyes lingered on his bouquet, and then strayed back to Daisuke’s face; a scowl adorning his features, “I see that you have found time to have affairs, Kambe-san. It must be nice to be in the second division, hm? All this free time.”
Hoshino’s tone was snarky and condescending, and Daisuke wanted to whoop his ass.
Katou was not listening. Unlike Hoshino, he had not said a word. Daisuke glanced up towards him, only to find Katou’s already fixed intent on him. Daisuke blinked rapidly. Was there something on his face?
“Katou-san?” Hoshino’s tone was firm and his scowl even firmer. Did he ever smile?
The older detective broke out from whatever trance he was in, and nodded his head, very vigorously.
“Yes, right.” Katou began; voice hoarse, golden eyes still fixated on Daisuke, “You look very nice. Very nice, indeed.”
Hoshino gave Katou a look, Kamei snorted, and Daisuke raised an eyebrow. Did he hear that right? The tips of Daisuke’s ears burned, and Katou’s face was no better after he realized what had left his mouth.
“I meant the flowers! They are very pretty, hah. This doesn’t mean you are not pretty as well– I mean – Ah , dammit. I am gonna shut up now.” Katou pursed his lips and scratched the back of his head, tumbling over his words, and looking anywhere and everywhere that was not Daisuke.
All was silent for a few, mere moments, with Kamei snickering here and there in the background. Katou and Hoshino pinned Kamei with a stern glare. Daisuke, on the other hand, was trying to wrap his mind around Katou’s words. Pretty? Daisuke nearly choked on his spit.
Before Daisuke could say anything else, however, Katou was already walking away.
“We have an important meeting to attend in ten minutes.” Katou interrupted; tone suddenly professional and his face cool and composed (Daisuke’s heart lurched – only slightly though), “We will see you around then, Kambe, Kamei.”
With that said, Katou grabbed Hoshino’s arm and proceeded to drag the protesting detective away – Daisuke’s narrowed eyes locked on their arms with distaste. But, as they were passing through him, Katou was suddenly in his personal space, accidentally brushing his hand against Daisuke’s side, and looking him with eyes that burned his soul – and left him short of breath.
Katou Haru smelled amazing as always.
Shakily, Daisuke turned around, watching them disappear into one of the conference rooms. “Sir, your heartbeat is rising at an alarming rate.”
“Shut up, HEUSC.”
Later, Daisuke found out (through HEUSC) that the carnations did actually stand for something, ranging from ‘sweet and lovely’ to ‘my heart aches for you’ to ‘strong admiration.’
He scoffed. Corniness unlimited.
VII. Red rose (I love you)
Daisuke Kambe was on a manhunt.
For far too long, Daisuke had been passively receiving these flowers without a counterattack; letting him be pampered with this anonymous affection (and not minding it – when had he become such a softie?). But not anymore; enough was enough – it was time to strike.
It was time to hunt down this ‘sweet-ass motherfucker’ (Kamei words, again).
With the help of Google (Daisuke did not trust HEUSC anymore), he had come up with a brilliant plan: (1) observe and make a list of anyone acting suspicious/strangely around him; (2) go to work two hours earlier, and hide behind the lockers, (3) place cameras around the nooks and crannies of the office without anyone noticing (why didn’t he think of this before?), and (4) bribe the post companies handsomely to give him the names of the anonymous senders (past and future ones).
(If it was not obvious enough, Daisuke had found these tips on a very shady-looking site).
As was his luck, no previous sender matched the names Daisuke had on his list.
This person was good.
Suzue said he was acting unhinged (more than he usually is), but everyone had their limits – and not knowing this person’s identity was driving Daisuke up the wall.
Literally. In his free time, Daisuke was climbing up on his indoor-built climbing wall to let out his frustration.
Can anyone blame him?
Shaking his head, Daisuke glanced down at his watch as the elevator doors opened… seven-thirty. Another day, another failure – and his secret admirer seemed to have disappeared again.
Did they know Daisuke was unto them? He exhaled deeply and darted off the elevator down to the parking lot. His plan was failing miserably, his comfort flowers were gradually withering away; his hands were hurting from all the wall-climbing – and as Daisuke was walking towards his car, this was the point where everything came to a standstill.
He suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.
There was this famous saying that food was a way to a man’s heart, but as Daisuke stood right in front of his black car, with his keys clenched in his fists; his eyes trained on the object placed on the hood of his car – it seemed that in his case, it was the flowers that found that special spot into his heart.
Daisuke snickered, then chuckled, and then started laughing ... hysterically. Passersby gave him weird, pitying looks, whispering among themselves as they walked by.
But, Daisuke paid no heed. There was only one thought in his mind.
This person was good, really good, shit. The only place he had forgotten to place any surveillance.
Resting his back against the hood of the car, and wiping away the tears from the corner of his eyes, Daisuke murmured, collecting the delicate flower into his hands, “Aren’t you a feisty one?”
His ‘feisty one’ in question was a rose – a single-stemmed, bright red bloom that was the epitome definition of beauty – and for the first time, Daisuke did not need to HEUSC, or anyone else, to tell him what the rose stood for; what it meant .
For Daisuke knew it very well.
“I love you,” There was a flicker of emotions in his eyes. Daisuke paused, inhaling sharply, “They love me ,” Daisuke repeated; tone soft, barely even audible.
At this point, he was well-aware of this person’s feelings for him, but to have such an outright confession (in terms of flowers, hah ), it made Daisuke’s heart rattle in many unimaginable ways.
And despite himself, his lips held a faint smile and his eyes twinkled.
The rose came with a note , and quickly, Daisuke read the words, with a sense of greediness that did not suit a man of his stature.
Roses are red. Water is transparent. Without you in it, my life is transparent. I found no rhyme. Sorry.
Daisuke blinked, and then blinked again. And the next thing Daisuke realized, he was clutching his stomach, literally laughing his ass off.
“Bloody hell – just perfect.” Daisuke managed to say between fits of laughter, his eyes softening, his voice holding a warmth that was so unlike him, “Just like you , mysterious admirer.” It was bizarre, and hilarious, that he, Daisuke Kambe, fell for someone that he didn’t even know, let alone meet, and yet, for some reason , he felt like he had known them for ages.
What was with this sorcery?
Absentmindedly, Daisuke buried his nose into the note and closed his eyes, inhaling the scent; replaying the words in his mind again and again – and not even a second later, it hit him – like a fucking bulldozer.
His eyes shot open, his lips parted, and his heart dropped.
No– how–It can’t be – could it? He looked down at the note, bewildered; excited , and then sniffed again, and yes, it was still there – that scent was there. Identifiable, but not very distinct, lingering around the corners of the note.
For a moment, Daisuke had a hard time breathing.
It was his scent. The scent that surrounded him in his moments of vulnerability. The scent that he became accustomed during countless nights of hard-work; that made him a better detective. The scent that constantly reminded him that he was not alone in his time of need; that he would be always there for him.
The scent of his hero. It was his scent.
At that very moment, HEUSC spoke.
“Sir, I know who your secret admirer is. It’s –”
“HEUSC,” Daisuke let out a shaky breath, “I already know, thank you.”
Come and find me. The back of the note said.
And Daisuke did, his footsteps echoing against the dead silence of the night.
There was only one place left.
VIII. White Violet (+ Ambrosia)
The final day; his last chance to seal the deal. One flower had led to another, feelings became stronger and more secure, and as time passed by, Haru found it harder and harder to give up on his courting ritual.
(Can you even call it that?).
Because, as it looked like, Daisuke adored receiving these flowers. And with every smile, and with every sparkle in those sapphire orbs, his heart rejoiced.
Haru loved seeing him happy.
Before this , Haru had lost count of how many chances he had actually lost with Daisuke – to let Daisuke know how he felt about him; to tell him those three sacred words.
But, it never happened. Cowardice had crept up to him every single time they had even mentioned anything emotional, and the next thing Haru knew, he was transferring to the first division.
And Daisuke seemed to have not minded his transfer in the slightest. That hurt. A lot.
But as tenacious as he was, Haru had not given up – not at least without giving his one, last shot. If he could not do the talking, if he could not express his feelings verbally, something else would have to do that for him.
And ‘those something else’ were these flowers, beautiful and captivating, that Haru had spent a year growing them in his garden with utmost care.
And here, he was now. On the rooftop. Keeping a promise long-forgotten.
Remorsefully, his eyes reached up to the sky and his hand absently clenched the flower tighter.
It was a beautiful night, the sky was starless, the moon shone brightly, and the sounds of the city drifted into the background, keeping the perfect tranquility. And as Haru walked towards the edge of the rooftop, he knew, deep in his heart, that this was the perfect night to leave his last flower.
He had done his part. It was now up to Daisuke to find him.
That’s if he wanted to.
Haru placed the black, hand-carven box near the spot Daisuke usually smoked his cigars. The box contained his last flower– white as the fresh now, pure as his love, and the perfect parting gift for him .
Despite himself, Haru had wanted to make it special – for Daisuke to remember. For Daisuke to smile remembering him . And if Daisuke did, even his feelings were not returned, Haru was content. That his flowers had made the impassive Kambe smile.
It was all worth it.
For a moment, Haru’s eyes lingered on the door, waiting, deliberating whether he should stay here a bit longer to see how things played out; to see if Daisuke remembered their promise.
But there was no point. Miracles only happened in movies, right?
With a heavy heart, Haru stood up, intending to leave.
“So, it was you all along.”
There was a whisper against his ear, barely audible, gentle, and all too familiar.
Haru’s breath hitched. knowing that voice, that tone, like the back of his hand, and he turned his head to the side, golden hues melting into warm, sapphire orbs – a perfect match to the puzzle that was his heart.
Daisuke stood in front of him, in a black suit, with his hair down and styled handsomely, holding a bloom that resembled a lot like ambrosia ?
Haru’s heart fluttered, and golden eyes glistened with unshed tears.
Daisuke looked perfect, in every way possible.
“That I did.”
Haru strode closer, until he was centimeters away from the younger detective, their breaths mingling with each other, “What took you so long?”
“It’s your fault that you are good at this.” Daisuke shot back, glaring, pouting . And in response, Haru’s chest swelled with giddiness, his lips holding an affectionate smile that made Daisuke slightly irked; slightly embarrassed. “How many people have you done with this?”
“Only you .” Haru’s answer came out in a breathless whisper. Daisuke could see that Haru was not lying. That he was being completely honest with him.
And his heart warmed; the heat invading his cheeks. “Only for my special person.”
It took a minute for Daisuke to answer, to even comprehend Haru’s words. And when he did, a healthy flush dusted his pristine cheeks.
What was Haru even saying, bloody hell ?
Narrowed, sapphire eyes bore into Haru’s skull, but Haru only stared back, silently, with that beautiful damning smile on his face. And Daisuke sighed, lips twisting into a grin, “When did you become so smooth, hm?” He inhaled sharply, a fondness in his eyes, “I thought you were as awkward as me.” Maybe, even more.
Haru chuckled, humming.
“Why do you think I had resorted to flowers?” Haru arched an eyebrow, shooting him a teasing smile, and Daisuke merely blinked, suddenly at a loss of words. He shrugged, pathetically.
Haru laughed again, the sound beautiful to his ears, “I’m curious though.” There was a soft touch on his cheek, and Daisuke realized the older detective was holding his face in his warm hands, “How did you find me? Know that your secret admirer was me?”
Despite himself, Daisuke leaned into the touch, closing his eyes.
“The smell of your cologne on the note,” Daisuke whispered, “And tonight at nine pm, last year, we made a promise.”
There was a moment of silence. Daisuke opened his eyes to see Haru staring at him, with an emotion that pulled on his heartstrings.
“If we ever began to drift away, to see each other again ,” Haru whispered. “You remembered.”
Daisuke nodded slowly, looking Haru straight in the eye, “How could I not?” When you are this important to me? His expression softened, and with a sigh, Daisuke placed his own hand over Haru's, squeezing reassuringly, "I haven't forgotten anything you have said to me."
There was a knot in Haru's throat, and suddenly it was too hard to even breathe, "You don't mind that your secret admirer was me?"
You are not disappointed?
Daisuke read the silent words in Haru's eyes, and he shook his head,
"I wouldn't have wanted it to be anyone else." And that was the truth. That took him long enough to realize – to even understand. Daisuke raised his hand to Haru, the bloom dangling slightly in the gentle wind, “Is this proof not good enough?”
A stare, and a nod, and then with a smile, Haru picked up the black box from the ground, bending down to one knee. He opened the box, like he had opened his heart, and presented the flower, his love to the wide-eyed detective standing in front of him.
“So, what do you say, Kambe Daisuke?”
Want to take a chance of happiness with me? HEUSC translated that for him.
Moisture glistened in Daisuke’s eyes, and with a sharp inhale, he stared at the kneeling detective, with his heart in his throat.
For Daisuke, there was only one answer, and that was him getting down to his knees, close to his Haru, his most precious flower. And then, placing his own flower inside the box, beside the white bloom – in the perfect declaration of his feelings.
By the blooming twinkle in Haru’s eyes, it was the correct answer.
“How can I say no?” At this point, their noses were touching again, their lips centimeters apart, “Your hard work has paid off, Detective.”
And Haru smiled, so genuine and lovely, that his heart melted.
And for once, Daisuke could have not been happier with his life.
He was not one for romances, or cheesy-confessions, but when it came to Haru Katou, he did not mind them.
Daisuke did not mind giving his heart to this man.
Pulling away, breathless from the kiss, Haru rested his forehead against Daisuke, his eyes shining with mirth.
Haru looked down at his hand, a pout forming on his lips, “This is an ugly flower.”
Daisuke arched an eyebrow, and then pinched Haru’s nose in retaliation, knowing very well what the older detective was up to.
“You are not gonna make me say those three little words, Haru.”
Haru grinned, his golden eyes gleaming under the moonlight, looking even more ethereal. And once again, Daisuke had a hard time looking away.
“We can work on that.” The arms around Daisuke’s waist tightened, and Haru pulled Daisuke closer to him, until their noses touched, until their lips were close enough for another kiss.
“We have all the time in the world.”
Hiding behind a small building on the rooftop, the rest of the MCPTF, and Suzue, shot Haru thumbs up.
It was a job well done.
“Suzue-chan, you are an A-class stalker.”
“If I was not tracking them, we would have not witnessed this moment, Saeki-chan.” The rest of the MCPTF members nodded, agreeing with Suzue’s words.
“Also Takei-san,” Suzue regarded the older man, “Thank you for not giving Daisuke the authorization.” Her eyes strayed over to Hoshino, “And keeping the first division in check.”
Kamei snickered, and both Teppei and Saeki nudged his side to shut him up. Hoshino pinned Kamei with an annoyed glare, and Kamei gave him an apologetic look.
Well, he was going to hear an earful of that later, ugh.
Takei smirked, waving his hand offhandedly, “No worries, Suzue-san. It’s not every day that you have the chance to get on Kambe Daisuke’s nerves.”
“Well said, Takei-san.” Suzue smiled, and then directed her attention to the members of the second division, sapphire robs twinkling, “My dear partners in crime, your badges now please.” She chuckled, offering them her waiting hands, “This will be my gift to Katou-san and Daisuke. A collection of footages of how one Katou Haru charmed my idiotic brother.”