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Full Sleeves at Full Bloom

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When Kaminari moved his little shop to the busier district he never expected that the best part of his day was when he passed the flower shop next door. The bright blooms and rich green vines that hung from the awnings were beautiful sure, but it was the owner that had truly caught his attention.

Shinsou was a quiet man that moved with purpose and grace, his purple hair just as vivid as the flowers that filled the walls around him. He had strong hands and big forearms, was at least a full head taller than Kaminari, and when he smiled it was like pure unfiltered sunshine. The first time Kaminari had seen the purple haired man crack an actual god honest grin he had faltered in his steps, frozen in place as he took in the way Shinsou’s eyes crinkled and how he tilted his head back in mirth. He was separated by glass so he couldn’t hear the laugh, but he knew it just had to sound good.

Everything about Shinsou was good, great even. He had welcomed Kaminari to the neighborhood with a massive basket of hero themed baked goods from the bakery a few storefronts down, a book of coupons for his own shop, and a gorgeous bouquet of soft white gardenias. His cheeks had flushed a gorgeous rosy pink as he had nervously clasped one of those big hands around his neck, lilac eyes very much pointed to the floor in obvious shyness that instantly captured Kaminari’s heart. He spoke quietly but with good diction, the rich timbre of his voice sending shivers up and down Kaminari’s spine.

You could say he was smitten, making unneeded trips to the coffee shoppe, Drips and Drops, just to see him at watering time. The way he talked to his plants charmed the blonde to no end, how he would lean down close and whisper lovingly to the petals as he tipped the watering can, making sure to spend a little time with each bud before he moved on to the next. He was developing a crushing caffeine dependency, but for those rogue glimpses it was worth it.

He made sure to cover up his arms at all times when not in his studio or at home, his full length sleeves hidden beneath knit sweaters and baggy hoodies. The designs often shocked people, colorful koi and large lotus flowers, the japanese god Raijin taking prominent space on his left upper arm, traditional style clouds surrounding the oni. His clients would often joke that Kaminari looked like he belonged in a gang, his ink maturing him way past his 23 years of age. It wasn’t a big deal to slap on an oversized jumper, usually something ridiculously soft, and bounce around town. The older store owners were very sweet to him, probably more so than they would be if he skulked around town with all of his ink showing.

Today he was in a cream colored chunky knit sweater, two sizes too big, one of his shoulders peeked out through the neck as he stole a glance into the flower shop. There was Shinsou, sitting on his counter, a cup of coffee unlidded in his hands as he blew at the hot liquid. He was too cute, shoulders hunched as he carefully cradled his cup, eyebrows furrowed in concentration. Kaminari slid his hand to his front pocket to where he had stashed the coupon booklet that morning, took a deep breath and swung open the front door.

The smell wasn’t that of a typical flower shop, overly sweetened and sticky, but more subdued. Like being in a dense forest after a good rain. The bell rang behind him, the jingle resonating through the shop. Before he announced himself, he heard Shinsou call out, “Welcome! I’ll be right with you!” The sound of scurrying and shuffling carried through the foliage, a quiet ”Fuck, fuck, fuck, hot.” muttered out.

Kaminari chuckled to himself, leaning forward to peer through a wall made out of the teeniest little vines he had ever seen, each leaf smaller than his pinky nail. He caught sight of Shinsou and clapped a hand over his mouth before a laugh could escape him. The purple haired man had managed to spill his steaming hot beverage down the front of his shirt and was fanning the fabric away from his body, eyes searching for something desperately behind the counter.

“Yea, uh- Gimme just a sec! I’ll meet you in roses!” He ducked below the service counter and sprung right back up, a black shirt in his grasp. Just before Kaminari could turn to walk towards where he was supposed to go, Shinsou placed a hand at the hem of his shirt and in one sweeping motion removed it from his body. And there, lying under his ill-fitting shirt, was the body of a god. Smooth skin over well toned muscles, Kaminari’s hand trailed from his mouth to his jaw.

“Oh- oh wow”, he whispered, counting the abdominal muscles. Two, four, six…eight? Was that natural, were men supposed to have that many? His eyes greedily drank in the flower shop owner's body from his hiding place, taking in as much as he could before a bolt of fear struck him.

There was no way he could talk to him now! Shinsou was ridiculously hot with his shirt on, and now that Kaminari could see the full canvas a wave of anxiety washed over him. He was just a scrawny blond covered in too much ink, holes pierced in places that would make his own mother blush. What chance did he have with someone as beautiful as Shinsou?

“Actually, I’m good thanks!”, he yelled out over his shoulder as he bolted, the little bell on the door jingling for it’s life. He ran all the way to his own shop, only stopping to breathe when his door was locked and closed behind him.

He should have known better, he always did this. Falling for guys way out of his league was the bane of his life.

Shaking his head he ran his sweaty palms over his jeans, frowning when he hit the bump of the coupon book.

Coward. He was a coward.

A coward with really good taste apparently, because holy shit Shinsou’s body. Not that Kaminari was one to objectify someone based on appearances, he very much liked Shinsou for other things. Like his personality, or how tender he was with his plants. But this was a cherry on top of a very tasty sundae and he would be lying if he said he didn’t like it.

His heart was still racing, his face still flushed as he locked his door behind himself and pushed away from the wall.

Setup for the day, he needed to do his setup for the clients he had booked.

He turned on the sound system first, making sure that his phone was bluetoothed to it before he turned on his typical jams, the melodic music filling the space. Emptying his pockets into the bowl at his chair, he frowned at that little flower booklet, beautiful watercolored irises and sunflowers unforgiving on the cover.

“Shut up, you would have wilted too.” Turning the coupon book over, he flipped on the lights and marched over to the windows and slid the panes open. One of the biggest sells to this building were the smells that wafted down the street. Between the coffee shop, the bakery, and the florist, his parlor always smelled divine. No need for scented candles or incense, not when the delicious smell of fresh bread hit the air at 2 am sharp. Or when the rich aroma of coffee assaulted him every evening, drawing him to go and get a drip with three pumps of vanilla and whip. But the best smell, that was the gentle floral perfume that lingered everywhere.

Usually, Kaminari hated the smell of flower shops, the sickeningly sweet smells aggravating his sinuses until he gave in to a fit of sneezes, his nose red and aggravated for the rest of the day. But Shinsou’s storefront was different, softer, gentler. More greenery than he had ever seen in his life, trees and shrubs and big spikey things in pots that came up to his hips. The store smelled like fresh herbs and cinnamon with the barest hints of spring deliciousness and Kaminari always loved when the other shops would close down so that he could just sit in his studio and inhale lungfuls. He liked to imagine that Shinsou smelled like his shop, earthy and rich, robust yet delicate.

He leaned his upper body out of the open window frame and shot a forlorn look at the shop next door, disappointed in himself for his lack of spine. From his vantage point he could barely see Shinsou, who was leaning against the glass windows on the front of his shop and having a very animated conversation with the owner of the bakery. Todoroki was a tall man, taller than Shinsou by a few inches, his bicolored hair always done in intricate braids. Today it was done up in a french twist, red and white strands framing his pretty face, those grey and blue eyes striking as they widened in shock by something Shinsou told him.

Their words were lost to the open air, the music streaming from Kaminari’s speakers aiding in their mystery. But from the body language they gave off he could tell the conversation was a friendly one at the least, the blush dusting on the baker's cheeks twisting a knife in Kaminari’s gut. Shinsou reached forward and clapped a hand on Todoroki’s shoulder and squeezed, those thick fingers flexing for a moment before he let go.

A lump filled Kaminri’s throat and try as he might to swallow around it, he found himself pulling back into the safety of his studio’s walls. Wrapping his arms around his torso he rocked on to his tiptoes and exhaled a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding.

He had no reason to be jealous, fuck, he couldn’t even bring himself to truly talk to Shinsou. He had been stealing peeks and glances for weeks now, only braving a meek wave every now and then when the florist would catch his gaze and raise his hand in greeting first.

Nobody had ever made his stomach tense up like Shinsou had, usually he was upfront and direct with those he wanted to pursue. But, there was something so different about this man. He was gentle, and sweet, and his voice sounded like soft summer rain and thunderstorms wrapped into one.

A knock at the door ripped him from his internal musings and he scrambled for his phone in his pocket. 9:45. His earliest client wouldn’t be here for another hour and he walked to his door in confusion. He flipped the locks and opened it, dumbfounded when lilac eyes locked to his own golden eyes. There, dwarfing his doorframe, was the florist. Shinsou’s cheeks were stained with blooming patches of a light pink, a small grin stretching his full lips.

“Good morning Kaminari, did I catch you at a bad time?” His voice was deep, richer than the coffee the blond consumed by the bucket full, and it always sent shivers down Kaminari’s spine. Today it seemed no different as goosebumps trailed down his arms, a barely suppressed shudder hidden by his oversized sweater.

Kaminari paused the music and then shoved his phone back into his pocket, opening the door a little wider. “It’s not a bad time, come on in.” As Shinsou sauntered into his studio the blond hurriedly wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, praying that he could keep his calm long enough to not look like a major dork in front of this adonis of a man. He closed the door and brushed a few stray strands behind his ear, making sure that the sleeve of his jumper covered his knuckles. He had managed to keep even those tattoos hidden away from the other shop owners and today would not be the day he slipped up and revealed his other crippling addiction.

Shinsou paused at the wall containing his best paintings, his God collection. There, on canvases that went from the ceiling to the floor were Suijin, Fujin, Tenjin, and of course, Raijin. The purple haired man stared at the canvases in awe, his mouth slightly ajar as he took in the vivid colors and bold brush strokes. “These are amazing.”

Instantly, Kaminari felt a familiar rush of heat sweep through his body, a small tingle dancing over his lower back. Mortified, he silently threw a thank you to whatever deity had guided his hands to the sweater that covered the majority of his body, his groin very much hidden under layers of cream fabric. “Oh thanks, they’re a bit old, but I’m pretty proud of them.” He went to lean against his service counter, effectively placing the piece of furniture between him and the florist.

Shinsou gently ran his fingers down the frame that held Raijin and Kaminari couldn’t help the way his eyes instantly dragged to those digits. No ring on his left hand, but that didn’t really mean anything. He could still have a boyfriend, hell, he could be straight for all Kaminari knew. A straight florist. Oh the irony.

But those fingers, those thick calloused fingers that spoke of hard work and years of abuse, how they teased and taunted Kaminari. He wanted to touch them, to feel them rub over the soft skin of his waist, to taste them as he swirled his tongue around them.

“It’s definitely something to be proud of, that’s for sure.”

Ripped from his lewd fantasies and back to the present, he coughed and fidgeted his feet, trying to adjust himself subtly. He needed to stop, or he was going to have a full blown problem to take care of before his first client. Taking a deep breath to clear his salacious thoughts, he shook his head and pushed himself away from the counter.

He busied himself with pulling out everything he would need for his first appointment of the day, gloves, petroleum jelly, soft towels, ink caps, and a few other things. He sat in his rolly chair and began to set up his tray, making sure that things were just as he liked them. Shinsou walked around the studio while he set up, eyeing the art that was hung on the walls with thoughtful glances. Every so often he would stop and let his fingers trail down the frame of the piece, captivated by what lay immortalized in ink.

“So, I stopped by to ask you if you wanted to join the other shop owners in the Moonfire Festival. Shouto noticed you haven't signed up, but he knows you’re the newbie on the street.” Shinsou’s voice reverberated through the empty air of the studio causing the hairs on Kaminari’s neck to rise. God, that raspy tone ringing through his space sounded so good.

Tucking dirty thoughts and ideas back into the dregs of his mind where they belonged, he squared his shoulders and plastered on the sweetest smile he could muster. “I literally have no idea what that is, but color me interested.” Making sure to mask the back of his hands as he wrapped bands around his tattoo guns he made quick work of setting the tension to his preferred setting.

There was no answer though and he swiveled around to see Shinsou frozen in front of another picture, one hand pressed to his mouth, eyebrows bunched and the very tips of his fingers barely grazing the top of the glossy photo print. There, in its full colored glory was Kaminari’s naked torso on full display. From his pierced nipples to the dermals that decorated his hips, the cherry blossom tree in full bloom that wrapped around his side, the peek of flower petals from under the band of his jeans. The picture screamed eroticism and he had died when Mina had given it to him after one of her photo shoots. She had told him that there was no better advertisement than your own body but right now Kaminari would rather see the fucking thing burn than to watch as Shinsou’s eyes raked over his portrait.

“Ah yea, that’s an old client.” Kaminari cleared his throat in hopes of dragging the florist's attention anywhere but where it currently was. Shinsou’s eyes snapped to his, the flush on his cheeks deepening to a rich full on blush. The tips of his ears turned a vivid red and his brow furrowed a little more.

“Sorry. They’re just-” Lilac eyes shot to the side to look at the hanging photograph for a brief second before locking back with Kaminari’s gaze again. “-they’re gorgeous. I’ve never seen a cherry tree drawn like that before. It’s unique.”

It was now Kaminari’s turn for a wicked blush to paint over his features, heat filling his face as he turned around quickly in his chair. Gorgeous. Shinsou had indirectly called him gorgeous. He could now die happy, a fulfilled man. Fuck money, the man he had a crush on thought he was good looking. Well, from his shoulders to his hips anyways.

“Thanks, that was one of the first things I designed as a solo artist.”

They stood and sat in awkward silence for only a few moments, but it felt like hours to Kaminari. Each beat of his heart brought fresh blood to his cheeks, the rustling of his sweater against his heated skin making his body a little more sensitive than it had any right to be.

Finally, Shinsou broke the spell, his heavy boots thudding against the hardwood floor as he approached Kaminari from behind. A piece of paper entered his line of sight and he once again turned in his seat to face the man. But now, instead of being able to see all of the taller man, he was greeted with his jean covered crotch. A very full looking jean covered crotch. He could see dirt near the pockets, traces of where Shinsou probably wiped his hands clean after potting.

A gasp passed his lips as his eyes flicked up to where light lavender eyes already peered down at him, those full lips parted for a tongue that trailed along to moisten them.

Kaminari reached out with a shaky hand to take the offered sheet, not even bothering to give it a glance. “I’ll be there.”

And just like that, Shinsou was gone, those heavy work boots carrying him out of the door and back to his own shop.

--

Shinsou’s days had been the same for a very long time. He would wake up at 3 am sharp every morning, abuse his coffee maker, groan into a steaming hot shower, and dress himself as quickly as possible so that he was in his car and driving down the highway at no later than 3:30 so that he would be the first to arrive at the flower vendor market. If he was first, he would beat the normal crowd, get to pick the best daily product, and fill up the van his employees would show up with at 4:30.

The vendors were all very sweet to him, knowing he was a man of few words, but he never haggled prices or tried to cut them short. Those good relationships had done him well over the past few years, most vendors cutting him steep discounts or keeping rare stock on hand specifically for him.

It was one of the best parts of his day, walking around the stalls filled with colorful blooms and picking the ones he needed to fulfill orders or to fill in the empty spots of his walls.

The other best part of his day? That was easy.

It was when the cute blond from next door walked in front of his storefront, hair bouncing with his steps, a cup of something from Drips and Drops clutched in his hands. Kaminari always peered into his shop whenever he passed, eyes bright and wide with wonder. Occasionally there would lock eyes and Shinsou always made sure to give the small blond a friendly wave, internally revealing at the way the blond would shyly return the gesture with a small waggle of his fingers.

Hitoshi had been very excited to meet the owner of the shop across the alley, more so when he had seen the shop name, High Voltage, Tattoos and Body Modifications. But his excitement had paled in comparison when he had seen the shop owner for the first time.

Kaminari was a very small man, barely 5’5”, his lithe body often hidden beneath bulky hoodies or oversized pullovers. Shinsou had yet to even see a hint of ink on the young man, a little confused as to how you could own a tattoo parlour without having a tattoo of your own. But he didn’t judge, maybe the blond just had a fear of being stabbed a million times over with tiny needles. Sharp golden eyes always captivated his attention whenever Kaminari was near, the way they narrowed or widened, his expressions easily readable.

It had taken a pep talk from Shouto, a nudge from Izuku, a stern talking to from Kirishima before Shinsou had nervously packed together a wicker basket full of baked goodies and a hand painted coupon booklet for his own store, a blatant attempt to lure the blond into his own shop. His hands had shook while he assembled a simple gardenia bouquet, the whiteness of the flowers even crisper against the soft yellow bases. He wrapped the bases carefully in floral tape, making sure that the shape was full and round.

Would Kaminari know what they symbolized, their secret message that he was trying to convey?

He had never been good with his words, often people took the things he said and misinterpreted them, twisting his meaning and bland inflections for distaste or a lack of care. He couldn’t let that happen this time, not with Kaminari.

Never before had he been so instantly smitten, so stumped for even the simplest words whenever their gazes would lock. How his mouth would dry when he caught glances of the blond crossing the street, or how his gut would tighten when he watched Izuku and Kaminari exchange pleasantries while the greenette poured his coffee. He knew Izuku was just overly friendly, easy to talk to, easy to look at. His freckled kissed cheeks, his heavily muscled physique(which Shinsou had seen fully, thanks to their mutual love of the gym a few blocks down the road), the way he gently wrote peoples names on their cups with swirly letters and hearts dotted over the i’s.

Izuku had told him blatantly that Kaminari was not his type, too little and lean. “Not enough to grab a hold of and throw around without hurting him, ya know?” Shinsou had bristled at the comment, Kaminari was the perfect size, his tiny waist looked as if Shinsou could wrap his large hands around it and touch his fingers together. There had been many nights recently where he had closed his eyes while in the comfort of his bed and imagined the blond in his lap, those lean legs wrapped around his body, electric yellow eyes sharp and focused. What sounds would Kaminari make, would he release soft breathy sighs, would he bite his lip and whimper, or would he throw his head back unabashed as his moans filled the empty air around them?

Thoughts like that were dangerous, Hitoshi didn’t even know if the tattooer liked men, women, or maybe anyone for that matter. But, boy he could dream and hope and wish on the tiny little glow-in-the-dark stars he had painstakingly placed on his ceiling, the small constellations glimmering in the dead of night.

And so his nights were plagued with visions of Kaminari in various states of undress, his imagination supplementing what he imagined the blond looked like under those baggy jackets and skin tight jeans, the tattoos or piercings he could have. Shinsou secretly loved body modification, the idea of running his fingers across metal piercings ran rampant, maybe slipping his cock across a slick tongue where a hard metal ball lay, his veins rubbing against the unforgiving material.

And his days, well those were spent with glimpses of Kaminari. Stolen glances of a megawatt smile, of delicate fingers wrapped around paper coffee cups, of those cat-like eyes sneaking looks into his shop. Whenever the blond would see something pretty his steps would falter and his eyes would light up with delight, those slim fingers brought up to lush lips in curiosity. Shinsou just about died when Izuku had put too much whipped topping on whatever drink he had purchased that day, how his fingers had scooped up the cream to deliver it to a waiting tongue, the satisfied expression the blond wore as his plush lips wrapped around the tip of his finger and sucked.

You could say he was a bit obsessed with Kaminari’s mouth.

Todoroki liked to tease him about it, whenever he would catch the florist mid daydream or blatantly checking out the tattooist, telling him that someone would snatch up that cute little blond before Shinsou could nut up and do it himself.

But, like a true friend, he gave Shinsou the ammunition he needed to succeed. The morning had been pretty shitty, his coffee maker had finally died but before it could brew it’s last cup, his shop van had gotten a flat on the highway so his employees were late for pickup, and he had lost a client this morning when he spilled his americano down the front of his favorite band shirt.

So when Shouto had handed him a flyer to the upcoming Moonfire Festival as he was watering his outside plants before the bright rays of the sun would burn into them, he saw a true and honest opening.

“I noticed that your adoration has yet to sign up and I was thinking he could run the face painting station this year, if he’s amicable. And you can creep peeks at him from your usual booth. Make sure to bring the proper equipment this year.” Dual colored eyes peered at him, the monotone voice of the baker hiding the jabs he made. Hitoshi and Shouto had become fast friends, the duality of their personalities like a magnet. They understood each other, knew when they were joking or serious, knew when one was just having an off day.

On the flyer was Shinsou’s cell phone, a cheeky winky face drawn sloppily next to it. Hitoshi felt his cheeks heat as he clapped a hand on his friends shoulder, his grip tightening.

“You didn’t.”

“Oh, but most assuredly, I did. See, that’s my handwriting.”

“Yes, I see that.”

“Ah, I wanted to make sure your constant erections weren’t stunting your ability to quickly problem solve.”

Shinsou let out a barking laugh, shoving his friend's shoulder slightly. “You’re such an asshole.”

“And yet you still maintain your friendship with me. Unwise choices, Hitoshi.” There was a glimmer of mirth in blue and gray eyes, the hint of a faint smile on Shouto’s mouth.

“Never said I was particularly smart.”

Shouto nodded sagely, fidgeting with his hair to hide his scar behind red tresses. “This is true. Come by after you speak with him. We need to make slight adjustments to your booth this year. I’ve made cinnamon rolls to ease the pain.”

As Shouto crossed the street, Shinou couldn’t help but to nervously fidget with the paper in his hands, trying not to focus that under the words ‘face painter needed still laid his personal number. Was it too bold, too direct? Kaminari hadn’t responded to the gardenias, but it had only been a few weeks after all. Maybe he was still getting adjusted to the area. Perhaps he was already dating. What if he had taken a secret vow of celibacy and wanted to live his life not ever knowing carnal pleasure?

The horror….

Hitoshi snickered to himself, the idea of a chaste and virtuous tattooer too outlandish for him to wrap his brain around. Kaminari dressed in innocent lingerie though… now that was something he would absolutely get behind.

Before he could get too worked up he shook his head, stamped his feet to clear his boots of any dried mud, and made the trek across the alley and up the half set of stairs to the front door of the shop he had been avidly avoiding. The font on the door was gorgeous, thick bold lines with hand drawn filigree, yellow and black dominating the space. His fist hesitated above the wood, heart pounded in his chest, and the air in his lungs felt hot.

He couldn’t help but think of his ex in this moment, a beast of a man, who often told Shinsou he was too bland and too boring. What if Kaminari thought the same? What if Kaminari didn’t even give him the chance to try?

An exhale of a breath he didn’t realize he had been holding and he let his skin connect with the door, a sharp rap, rap, rap.

The sound of footsteps approaching caused his heart to race even faster, sweat beginning to prickle on his lower back. Fuck, this was a bad idea. Such a bad idea. Kaminari was just going to roll those sweet amber eyes and slam the door in his face, or worse, he was going to let Shinsou inside and then he was going to have to make conversation.

Fuck.

Maybe it wasn’t too late to leave, maybe if he ran really fast and pretended to be very busy for the next few decades he could play this off. Yea, yea that could work just-

There wasn’t much time to prepare as the door quickly swung open, Kaminari’s footsteps rivalling that of a mouse, and Shinsou’s mouth twitched in a nervous smile. “Good morning Kaminari.” Fuck, fuck! He sounded so desperate. “Did I catch you at a bad time?”

He gave the tattooist a once over, concerned about the sad expression covering his soft features, the way golden eyes shined with melancholy. What could make this bright beam of sunshine upset?

Before he could spiral madly into his own thoughts, the blond hit a button on his phone and the gentle music swirling around them came to abrupt halt. He opened the door just a bit wider, “It’s not a bad time, come on in.”

As Shinsou stepped into the room he took everything in fully. Kaminari was dressed in another oversized sweater today, the sandy colored fabric drowning him in softness. Skin tight black jeans and black hightops completed the look, he looked edgy, but delicate all at the same time. The way the big scoop neck peeked sharp collarbones, one shoulder bared to the world.

Now, this was the part that clearly confused Hitoshi, that crystal clear skin. No piercings were visible on Kaminari’s face, and he always pointed his mouth away when he spoke so no tongue stud was visible if the blond even had one. He had been super excited to talk shop with the new owner about ink, to continue the piece he had started a few years ago that left his entire back half complete when the artist dipped for America. But Kaminari’s skin looked virgin fresh, not a hint of a single addition to be seen.

Vivid colors caught his attention next, four massive traditional paintings hanging on the wall beckoning him to look closer. The lines were bold, thick and heavy black ink splattered with gold, the pieces themselves almost violent. Hisoshi recognized them as traditional God’s, but he couldn’t put names to them . He would ask Midoriya about them, that nerd knew just about everything. He brushed his calloused fingers against the glossy frame of a nasty looking oni surrounded by rain and lighting, drums surrounding their figure. He couldn’t help himself, “These are amazing.”

Kaminari shuffled somewhere behind him and when he turned to look the blond was headed to fiddle with something on his service counter.

“Oh, thanks. They’re a bit old, but I’m pretty proud of them.” With a small shrug of his shoulders that big sweater slid down his upper arm just a little more and with it came more empty skin. Leaning against the counter, Kaminari smiled shyly as he poked around some papers.

Shinsou couldn’t help but to let his hand linger on the frame, the feel of the polished wood under his fingers smooth. “It’s definitely something to be proud of, that’s for sure.”

He himself couldn’t draw to save his life, his niece consistently teased him for his lack of skill with a crayon. And it’s not like he could get mad at her, she always hit that nail on the head. His little cats ended up looking like eldritch horrors every single time.

Working his way around the room he was very aware of every move Kaminari made.
Of how he opened cabinets and closed them, stacking items precariously in his arms until he unloaded them onto the silver tray next to what Shinsou assumed was where the blond had his clients lay down for their appointments. There was also a nice chair tucked away behind some curtains, but that was mostly likely for piercings.

A few pieces caught his eyes and he would approach them for closer looks, rubbing his fingers on the frames to keep himself from touching the actual canvases. “So, I stopped by to ask you if you wanted to join the other shop owners in the Moonfire festival. Shouto noticed that you haven’t signed up.” He gave a sideways glance at the blond who was still sitting and facing away from him, busy with setting up. “But he knows you’re the newbie on the street.” Before he could linger on the way Kaminari tilted his head and offered yet another sliver of skin show, a large black and white photograph stole all of his attention. It was a still life, much different than the hand painted artworks that lined the wall, but just as beautiful, maybe even more.

It was a young man’s torso, laying on what appeared to be a blanket of furs, the softness surrounding the lithe body perfectly. Not heavily muscled, but definitely defined and lean, slender. The arms raised had hints of ink, but the feature was definitely the cherry tree wrapped around the side, branches extending over the subjects abdomen. Sparkly dermals decorated sharp hips, the adonis lines accentuated by the bit of metal. Small but very pert nipples had bars running through them, making the bits of flesh look extremely kissable. Tiny flower petals poked out from under the band of the subject’s jeans, and Shinsou desperately wanted to see more if not to only identify what flowers lay hidden beneath fabric.

A throat being cleared snagged his attention back to the present, the lilt of Kaminari’s voice carrying through the room easily. “Ah yea, that’s an old client.” His tone was colored with embarrassment, but Shinsou had no clue as to why. The art was stunning, the piercings clean. His fingers which he hadn’t noticed had lifted to his lips, rubbing them softly as if to mimic how he wanted to feel something there, something soft yet firm. His other hand hovered over the glossy print, centimeters away from ruining it with the oils on his fingertips.

His eyes snapped to Kaminari and yup, the blond was most definitely embarrassed, cheeks and the tip of his ear burning red as his brow bunched together.

“Sorry. They’re just-” He couldn’t help as his eyes dragged their way back to the picture as if it was a magnet, a polaroid siren. With more focus he reconnected his gaze, the corner of his mouth ticking up. “-they’re gorgeous. I’ve never seen a cherry tree drawn like that before. It’s unique.”

He needed to back pedal, and hard. How stupid was he, oogling some strangers body when the cute little tattooer was right in front of him. Shouto was right, perhaps his constant hard-ons were affecting his ability to think properly.

Or maybe he was just stupid.

But Kaminari smiled sweetly, cheeks flushed a deep pink as he bashfully swiveled around in his chair to face away. “Thanks, that was one of the first things I designed as a solo artist.”

It was adorable the way all of the blond’s skin tinted when he was so obviously flustered, how it spread from the tips of his ears to his cheeks, down his chest and settled low on the back of his neck. From how he had positioned himself, leaned over the metal tray, he had given Hitoshi yet another peek of creamy bare skin. It looked soft and pale beneath hues of embarrassment, like untouched snow waiting to be played in when the first glimmers of light peaked over the horizon.

Shinsou didn’t know what to say to fill the silence that followed, he had never been good with his words, never much of a smooth talker. Shouto liked to say he was like crunchy peanut butter; rough and ridged, most people didn’t like him, and when he sat for too long he began to separate in his jar. He never understood the last comparison but the rest made enough sense for him not to argue with the baker. Plus, Shouto’s peanut butter and jelly cupcakes were little pieces of heaven, so if he liked them that meant someone else had to as well.

Right?

There was someone out there who wouldn’t mind when he just needed a day to spend with his plants, that he occasionally stayed up to the wee hours of the morning when his insomnia hit really hard, that his default setting was sarcasm. Someone out there had to be made for him, like he was made for them.

Someone who knew Hitsohi needed to be held after nightmares filled with horrors of his past, would hold his hand when all he could think of were bleak blue eyes looking at him in disgust, who would kiss him and not instantly critique him after.

How his heart yearned to have someone who cared for him warm his bed during cold nights, to cook romantic dinners for, to just give every inch of his heart to.

The rustling of fabric drug him from the lonely dregs of his thoughts, a breath and he was back in the present, standing in this gorgeous tattoo parlour surrounded by exquisite pieces of art. Kaminari included. As he shifted his feet the piece of paper he had hastily folded and shoved in his pocket crinkled, reminding him of his mission. He took out the crumpled sheet and tried to smooth it flat as he approached Kaminari from behind, his work boots clunking on the hardwood of the floor.

Oh Gods, he couldn’t look down, praying and hoping he wasn’t dragging mud through the blond’s shop. How fucking perfect would that be, to not only bug him while he was setting up for the day but to add a task to his to-do list.

His hand shook as he held out the flyer, his forearm hovering centimeters above Kaminari’s bare shoulder. It took every single ounce of his self control to not brush his arm against what he could now see was sunkissed and lightly freckled skin, but he did it.

The blond turned around in his chair, eyes level with Shinsou’s crotch and the air all but punched itself from his body when Kaminari’s eyes widened and made direct eye contact with the bulge that offered itself up for his viewing pleasure.

Those sweet lush lips parted, an audible gasp spilling from them as gold eyes flicked to his own. Shinsou ran his tongue across his own dry lips, trying to bring some semblance of moisture back to his mouth.

Narrow fingers mostly hidden under a large sleeve reached out to remove the paper from Hitoshi’s hand, rich yellow eyes unblinking as he whispered, “I’ll be there.”

Shinsou ran out of the shop, forgetting to even shut the door behind him as he took the stairs two at a time, jumping behind his service counter for the emergency inhaler he hadn’t used for months.

He shook the device a few times before placing the plastic between his lips, finger trembling as it plunged the medicine into his mouth. A deep inhale and he held the breath for as long as he could, exhaling and repeating the process once more.

When he felt like his lungs could expand again, his mouth no longer a Sahara, he rested his head back against the unpolished wood behind him.

“Fuck.”

--

 

That night he was up, either from insomnia or the triple shot drink Izuku had made when he went over to drop off the lilies he had ordered, who could say. He kept shooting looks at his cell phone, hoping and praying that it simultaneously stayed silent and pinged with a message.

Hitoshi didn’t know which he wanted more, for the blond to ignore him or not. And so he read, grabbing a book from his cluttered shelves and covering up with a thick blanket from the basket Eri had made in crafts class. The poor thing was full of holes, some as big as his fist, but he loved it just the same. She had been so proud to give it to him, eyes watering when he told her that he would always cherish it.

It couldn’t really hold anything, but he still rolled up his chunkiest blankets and stacked them in there, placing it in a place of prominence in home so that he could see it everyday.

He was thumbing through his dog-eared copy of The Green Witch, not so subtly browsing the love spells when his notification pinged from where his phone sat on his coffee table.

Heart pounding in his chest he considered leaving it, it was 2:30 in the morning after all. It was probably Shouto, texting him a reminder to pick up some the bagels from his rivals so he could taste comparison them. Shinsou had been running covert-ops for him for years now and he was well paid in baked goods, one of the many reasons he allowed Izuku to drag him to the gym almost every night.

Yea it had to be Shouto, no one else would text him at this hour-

ping!

It was mortifying how quickly he ripped the blanket for his body, how he scrambled desperately for his cell, the book of spells forgotten on the arm of his loveseat.

His fingerprint opened his screen, and there in all of it’s electronic glory:

Unsaved Number: hey hey, texting for moonfire fest dets ( ͡° ³ ͡°)
2:36

Unsaved Number: oh holy fuck, it’s so late! i’m so sorry, my last client just left and i didn’t realize the time. pls ignore this while i go dig a hole to die in
2:36

Me: It’ll be a real shame to explain to the kids that show up to your booth that their face painter’s body is rotting away, but I’ll do my best to use my little kid friendly words.
2:36

Unsaved Number: ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ i’m on my way to steal ur shovel then, don’t mind the broken windows
2:37

Shinsou snickered, uncomfortable from how he had ended up on the floor, one leg awkwardly folded underneath his ass. He shifted awkwardly, dragging himself back to comfy cushions.

Me: If you can find it, God Speed.
2:38

Unsaved Number: um, so i hate to break it to you, but you didn’t lock your shop door
2:38

Me: Yea, I don’t keep cash in the register and if anyone has the balls to rob me, they can take what they can carry. Plus, my security cameras are pretty high grade.
2:38

A few minutes pass, Hitoshi grows nervous as his phone remains silent.

Unsaved Number: they uh… they aren’t on right now are they?
2:42

Shinsou grabs his remote and clicks his tv on, pressing the button that brings him to the station that hosts the live feed to his shop.

Lo and behold, there stands a grainy Kaminari, the camera quality good enough to catch the way the man shifts his weight from one foot the other, his slender face illuminated by the light from his phone. His phone which he keeps checking every few seconds. Odd.

Me: Nope, I only run them during busy seasons.
2:42

On the screen Kaminari’s shoulders visibly drop, his face relaxing in relief. He turns around, on hand moving on his phone, the other shuffling garden tools about as he looks for the aforementioned shovel.

Cursing himself for not springing for the full color package, Shinsou tries to make out details hidden in shadows. Kaminari wasn’t wearing his typical sweater, but his damned plants obscured his line of sight. Were those shadows or tattoos littered on Kaminari’s arms?

Unsaved Number: well you don’t have a shovel, which shame on you. what gardener doesn’t have a shovel???
2:43

Me: One that uses trowels and his hands. Occasionally my friends hands when I can con them into manual labor.
2:43

Unsaved Number: you do have big hands, so i can see that working
2:43

Hitoshi’s eyes snapped up to the screen where Kaminari was bent over, smacking his forehead with the palm of his hand.

Me: You know what they say about big hands.
2:44

Me: Big gloves
2:44

He watched as Kaminari’s lips tilted in a smile, as his hips swayed as he walked from his shop and away from his cameras. For the briefest of seconds he caught a glimpse of something that had to be body art, mentally making a note to review the footage to see if he could get a better glimpse later.

Unsaved Number: ಥ_ಥ you did not just dad joke me
2:45

Me: It’s all I have, spite and dad jokes. Please don’t take this from me, I’ll be left destitute.
2:45

Unsaved Number: you can share my hole if you like
2:45

Unsaved Number: !
2:45

Unsaved Number: not like that, not like that!
2:45

Me: Well, what an auspicious offer. Will you be digging it extra deep or extra wide?
2:45

Unsaved Number: i’ll actually be digging nothing, since there wasn’t a shovel for me to thief away in the night
2:46

Me: That sounds like a personal problem, but I would be happy to help you fix it. Coffee at 9 tomorrow? Drips and Drops? We can go over Moonfire details as well. My treat.
2:46

Unsaved Number: sure! i love the way zuku make his cinnamon lattes! he always puts a little kitty on it for me (♡´౪`♡)
2:47

Me: He does have cute latte art. It’s a skill he’s been practicing for a while, you should have seen when he started out. The coffee looked so horrifying, empty blank eyes staring at you from foam.
2:47

Unsaved Number: (ó﹏ò。) that sounds pretty scary
2:48

Unsaved Number: just made it home, gonna shower and crash
2:48

Unsaved Number: night shinsou!
2:49

Unsaved Number: holy shit, mina, i did it! i fuckin texted him. your bitch ass owes me shots. slut ˶⚈Ɛ⚈˵
2:49