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Delphinium

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“I’d like to check out this book on flowers please.”

The girl working the library desk giggled as Ryoji Mochizuki, the lady killer transfer student, approached her. To be noticed by him is a feat! “Oh, of course Mochizuki!” She pulled out a rather large book, pages sticking out everywhere, and flopped it on the counter. “This one has colored pictures, and an index on flower language!” The transfer student picked up the heavy book with ease, thanked the girl with his trademark grin, and walked out of the library. 

It wasn’t until later that the girl realized she forgot to scan the book for him. 

Ryoji let the book fall from his arms once inside his Gekkoukan dorm room, his throat burning in pain. Sharp, pained coughs echoed around him, his lungs struggling to breathe. The fit ended once three, blue, star shaped flowers fell from his lips to the desk in front of him. 

“D-damn…” This had been week two of these strange coughing fits, and they had only gotten worse since he moved into the Gekkoukan dorms. The flowers were the same every time, blue and shaped like five-pointed stars. After the first few times, Ryoji had scoured books and the internet, eventually uncovering a hidden well of information about something called Hanahaki Disease. 

When one’s love is unrequited, they may begin to cough or throw up flowers as their lungs fill with flowers and petals. If nothing is done, they may even die.  

That certainly wasn’t something that Ryoji needed to hear when he just moved to Tatsumi Port. At least he wasn’t one of the poor souls desperately trying to figure out who they were madly in love with. No, he knew exactly who it was as soon as he had laid eyes on him. And maybe that was part of it, that forbidden feeling of being in love with another boy. Still, taboo or not, Ryoji was in love with a boy in his class, no less, the blue haired, constantly frosty, pointedly ignores him for no reason, Minato Arisato. 

Ryoji’s internal monologue was halted by another round of coughing, more petals falling from his mouth. Just like normal...except for the sharp tang of blood that spread across his tongue. Panic flashed through his body, a new desperation rising within him. 

There’s no damn way he’s already coughing up blood. Ryoji gulped, and threw open the book. His shimmering blue eyes scan the pages, hunting for the bright blue stars as fast as he can. Foxglove, not it. Nightshade, god no. Jimsonweed, nope. 

Delphinium. 

Ryoji paused, his mouth starting to fall open as he gazed at the clusters of blue and purple flowers. Specifically, larkspur was what matched the flowers in his hand, bloodstained or not. He read carefully, wanting to know everything about these flowers. Often used for decoration and communication through flower language….delphiniums are known to be-

Ryoji inhaled sharply. Delphiniums are poisonous, deadly even. 

He was coughing up deadly flowers because he didn’t have the guts to ask Minato out. 

He staggered a bit, falling into his chair and slumping onto the desk. Shit. Ryoji couldn’t help but laugh at himself for being such a goddamn idiot. His eyes flickered back up to the book, catching a bit of that so-called flower language. Cheerfulness, goodwill, joy, encouragement.

A reminder of loved ones who have passed. 

A knot formed in Ryoji’s throat, and it took the rest of the night for him to stop coughing up flowers long enough to sleep. 

 

Within a few hours after he woke up, Ryoji had a plan in place. Damn these flowers for giving him an idea, but damn himself for catching feelings like this in the first place. No time to curse himself to hell though, he had to get on this idea before it literally killed him. It certainly helped that they not only were in the same class, but also in the same dorm. 

“Just take a deep breath Mochizuki, it’s going to be ok.” 

Knock knock.

“Mgh. What.” The very tired Minato spoke after a few moments, and Ryoji’s breath caught in his lungs. 

“I bought some movie tickets for that new animated film! I wanted to see if you maybe, I dunno, wanted to come with me?” There’s silence, then Ryoji spoke again. “I’ll pay for food.”

The door opened slowly, Minato’s blue-gray eyes dull with sleep. 

“Fine.” The door shut, leaving Ryoji’s heart to flutter so hard he made it a part of getting ready coughing up more flowers. 

The movie went without a hitch, in fact, Ryoji got to hear Minato laugh for what he assumed was the first time ever. He does regret that he had to leave to throw up more of those fluffy flowers, but at least Minato didn’t notice. 

Cheerfulness, check. 

Minato smiled more in the next few weeks, especially on the school trip. Despite the copious amounts of flowers Ryoji had to hide, he tried his best to make the boy laugh and smile. Hell, he figured, in a rather morbid way, if he dies at least he dies knowing he made the love of his life laugh. 

He blamed his alarming descent into depression on the flowers. 

Ryoji had studied the flower book for a long time before he returned it, and according to what he read, delphiniums can cause breakdowns, depression, and nervous feelings. He was sure he wasn’t going to die yet, but the thought of suffocating on these pretty stars made it harder for him to sleep. Even so he tried his best, breaking down Minato’s walls and opening him up all the way. 

Still, the last part of his plan was the hardest. Remembering loved ones was a lot easier if you actually remember most of your life. Ryoji was still stumped on that one, and this moody cloud that plopped on his shoulders wasn’t helping. 

And he wasn’t sure how he got to the rooftop tonight, calmly listening to music with Minato. His memory was getting worse and worse, but for once, he felt calm. The bright moon and glittering stars, plus the wonderfully cool air made this whole possibly dying thing feel a lot better. 

“Tomorrow is the ten year anniversary of my parents’ death.” 

Ryoji blinked. This was...unexpected, but he simply watched Minato speak. 

“Killed in an explosion. I’ve been passed around orphanages ever since then. I thought Gekkoukan was just another one. Go there, do school. Go somewhere else, do school.” He chuckled, a sound Ryoji could never get over. “Terrible thing to laugh at I guess. But, then it turned out ok.” Those normally dull gray eyes sparkled in the night, a gentle, almost loving smile on Minato’s face.

“I met you, and for some reason, everything is ok. Like maybe I can actually be a normal kid.” He sighed, and before Ryoji could react, leaned his head onto his shoulder. 

The blue eyed transfer student had no words for once, his hands shaking as he itched to do something, anything to return the gesture of affection. He inhaled sharply-

“I dunno if you’d want to, but...we could be like, a thing.” 

At once, the fog lifted from Ryoji’s head, and a spark of pure joy arced through his body. “W-wait, do you really mean it?”

Minato snorted, his hand reaching down and messing with Ryoji’s fingers. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.” Ryoji watched as their fingers laced together, fire burning in his face. “You’re pretty popular with the ladies, are you sure you have time for me though?”

“Y-yes!” 

Ryoji hadn’t meant to blurt it out loud, but at this point he didn’t care. “I’d...I’d love to be that with you, Minato. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be a thing with!” His smile must have been blinding at this point, but that didn’t matter. 

Because before he could think, Minato’s mouth was on his. 

The taste of the delphiniums was gone at once, replaced with what he could only describe as pure joy. He didn’t mind when Minato pulled away, his head too blissful to care. His blue eyes shifted upwards, his smile returning. 

“The moon is so bright. I bet it’ll be full tomorrow.”