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The Proper Care of Lilacs

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“Just get him something else; it’s not that hard.”

Yuuji sighed. “Sukuna, pleeeeaaase? I’ve already paid and everything, you just gotta pick it up. It won’t take more than a minute.”

“Well it’s one more minute of my time we’re talking about here…”

“You know I’d do it myself if I didn’t have to sort out this last-minute thing before the party. And Kugisaki’s on the other side of town, she’ll never make it in time.”

“Do I really have to? Knew I shouldn’t have agreed to come to this stupid party.”

He could practically hear Yuuji rolling his eyes through the phone. “Sukuna, just do me a damned favour and pick up those flowers for me, will you?”

“You seem to assume that I have all the time in the world to be running errands for you.”

“It’s literally two minutes from your place. Plus, I know the owner, he’s pretty swell, and he’s not going to give you any trouble or judge your manly ass for picking up a bouquet of flowers, although why that’s such a big concern of yours is something I can never understand.”

“It’s not that I don’t want to be seen with flowers, I just don’t like flowers. Period.”

“Right, right. I’ll send you the location in a bit, Sukuna.”

“Don’t you even da-”

“Aaaaand sent! Thanks Sukuna, you’re the best brother ever, see you later, bye!”

Sukuna glared at the phone in his hand as if he was willing it to catch fire. Yuuji had hung up on him, that brat, and he could already see a notification popping up on the screen which most definitely contained the stupid flower shop’s location. Even as his mind began running through a hundred different ways to murder Yuuji later, Sukuna opened the message and groaned.

As much as he didn’t want to admit it, the brat wasn’t wrong. It was quite literally two minutes from his place.

The shop was easy to find, and he hated it already. He had hoped it would be tucked away in some obscure alley, and then he could say he couldn’t find it and be done with this entire affair.

But now here he was, standing in front of a small, understated place called ‘Blessing’, about to head inside to pick up his brother’s special order for his boyfriend, and as much as his inner demon was still very much sifting through colourful methods to commit fratricide, Sukuna really just wanted to get this whole thing over with as soon as he can.

He pushed open the door, a soft bell tinkling above his head to signal his entrance, and strode purposefully to the counter. If the brat had said it wouldn’t take more than a minute, then Sukuna was going to be in and out of here within a minute, or so help him.

To his annoyance, there was no one there. Sukuna rapped his knuckles impatiently on the counter and glanced around. His one minute was ticking. He scanned the interior of the shop in frustration. Frankly, there wasn't much to look at. It was small, barely half a shop lot, and one glance was all it took to scour the whole area. There was no way he could’ve missed someone crouching behind an overgrown plant or something.

In fact, there were no overgrown plants. Everything looked clean and well cared for. The interior space had a minimalistic feel to it, and seemed to invite visitors to pause for a moment and just breathe a little. The lighting threw faint shadows across the polished wooden floor and tall rows of shelves with potted plants, creating a calming and gentle ambience. Sukuna was hating the place less and less, but he told himself he didn’t have to actually like a place that he was never going to set foot in a second time. Ever.

“I’m sorry, we’re closing soon. Can I help you with something?”

A quiet voice came from behind him, interrupting his thoughts. Sukuna turned to answer, prepared to snap irritatedly at the person who had been wasting his precious minute by making him wait.

And then time seemed to stop as his sights locked onto the most beautiful pair of emerald eyes he’d ever seen in his life.

The shop owner was gorgeous. He held Sukuna’s stare with a steely gaze of his own, piercing green eyes peeking out from beneath long lashes, framed by his spiky black hair. His lips were pulled into a thin line, a bored-looking expression on his pretty face, only his brows raised slightly with curiosity as he waited for Sukuna to answer his question.

Sukuna was secretly glad he found his voice pretty quickly, because it wouldn’t have made a good first impression if he continued to gape at him like a goldfish.

“I’m here to pick up a bouquet or something. Should be under the name ‘Itadori’, ring any bells?”

The emerald eyes widened in recognition. “Ah, so you’re his brother. He did say you’d be picking it up instead.” He brushed past Sukuna to a table by the window and retrieved a large bouquet of white and soft pink flowers, checking it for any imperfections as he walked back to Sukuna.

Sukuna continued staring at the florist, trying to remind himself to breathe. Good grief, why was he so pretty?

“Here you go. Hope he likes it.”

The florist was already pushing the bouquet into his hands, and Sukuna felt them move on their own to receive it. He blinked slowly, air filling his lungs as he inhaled deeply, the faint scent of the flowers clouding his head with cottony thoughts. The florist tilted his head to the side, his brows furrowed.

“Uhm… Yuuji’s already paid for it, by the way. You can just take it and leave. Unless… Do you need anything else?”

Sukuna shook his head a little harder than was necessary. The motion helped clear his fuzzy brain a bit though.

“It’s alright, thanks. You uh, you have a good evening.” He muttered, before striding past the florist towards the door. It wasn’t until he reached the party later that he realized he didn’t even get a name or number from the pretty florist, dammit.

Sukuna most certainly did not try to stalk the florist online. So he did a quick search for the shop’s website, so what? All he found was a simple page with the shop’s information, business details and the types of services provided, and a contact form for submitting queries. There was no mention of the mysterious owner, or even a history or story of how the business came to be.

Honestly, Sukuna still doesn’t know what came over him that day. He doesn’t know how he could get blindsided by a pretty face. It’s not like he’s a complete novice at flirting (he’s not his brother, who took six months to finally ask his crush out) so perhaps his pride took a slight blow at how awkwardly he handled that one minute in the flower shop.

That very same pride has stopped him from returning ever since.

But for the most part, Sukuna thinks he’s gotten over it. Sure, that pretty face plagued most of his waking thoughts for a good couple days after the party, but then things got hectic at work, life catches up, and soon he kind of forgets to dwell on how miserable he is.

He also kind of forgets that he had been intentionally avoiding his usual route to work for a week, and is now standing stupidly just a couple feet away from that dreaded flower shop as that realization dawns upon him.

It was still early in the day, and quiet. Just him, his thoughts, and the lovely florist who was standing outside Blessing, occupied with arranging the daily display.

Sukuna observed the florist as he walked up to him. The young man’s hand motions were gentle and extremely steady as he tucked stray leaves behind large orange blossoms, or pushed a pot into a more prominent position on the shelf. He glanced up as Sukuna approached, and gave him a curt nod as a greeting.

Sukuna cleared his throat. “Hey.”

“Morning. Can I help you with anything?” The florist straightened and wiped his hands firmly on his apron, smoothing out some creases while he was at it. Sukuna had to remind himself to stop staring at those long, delicate fingers, damn it. And then he realized the florist had asked him a question, and he actually had no answer. Did he even want to buy flowers?

“Just, uhm, taking a look.” He glanced around, hoping to find something he could use to continue the conversation. The rows of flowers stared back at him, offering no help at all, and Sukuna just scowled back at them.

The florist nodded once and gestured around him. “Sure, feel free to look around. I’m still setting things up, but if you need anything just let me know.”

“I will. You know…” Sukuna took a deep breath. “I don’t think we were formally introduced. I’m Sukuna.”

“Yuuji’s brother. I know.” The florist paused, and then tacked on his next few words hurriedly. “Fushiguro Megumi. That’s my name.”

‘It’s a beautiful name,’ Sukuna thought. But outwardly he smirked. “My brother talks about me, huh? Hope he hasn’t said anything unflattering.”

Fushiguro shook his head. “Not much. But he’s mentioned you once or twice. Nothing unflattering, I promise.” He added reassuringly.

“I see you two are well-acquainted.”

“He does buy a lot of flowers from me.” Fushiguro admitted, looking a little sheepish. “How did it go by the way?”

It took Sukuna a moment to realize that the florist was talking about the bouquet Yuuji had ordered. “Oh I suppose it went well. Most people like receiving flowers, his boyfriend’s no exception.”

Fushiguro’s eyes narrowed a little. “Ah, I see. But, how exactly did he react? Like, what was the expression on his face or was there anything he said?”

Sukuna thought back to that night. Frankly, he didn't pay much attention to that wallflower of his brother's boyfriend. Yoshino Junpei was a meek little thing who shied away from the spotlight like he was allergic to it, and it was always too easy for Sukuna to ignore his existence entirely.

All he remembered was that he had shoved the bouquet into Yuuji’s arms the minute he arrived, and then gone off to grab a drink, but he did seem to recall seeing Yuuji give it to his shy boyfriend, whose face seemed to light up at the sight of the flowers. And then, something else had happened, now that he was thinking about it.

The quiet boy placed one hand over his mouth and squeezed his eyes together, as if trying to stop his emotions from bursting out. Yuuji had drawn him into a hug just then, and he had a look on his face that seemed to scream to the world that he was proud of his boyfriend. So extremely proud of his amazing, lovely boyfriend.

Oh right, it had been a party to celebrate Junpei getting a promotion, hadn’t it?

Sukuna recounted the events to Fushiguro, who listened quietly, his eyes glazed over slightly as if lost in thought. There was a pause after Sukuna finished, which left him wondering if Fushiguro had expected a different sort of reaction from Junpei instead.

And then he picked up the traces of a small smile on the florist’s face, and Sukuna’s heart skipped a beat.

It was a small thing, just a slight hint of a curve that contained a mix of embarrassment and secret pride. In the short time that he’s known Fushiguro, he’s never seen him smile, and all Sukuna can think about is how much he wants to see Fushiguro do it again.

“I’m glad the message got through. When Yuuji first told me what he wanted to express through this order, I have to admit it was a little challenging to figure out which flowers to use to get the meaning across.”

Sukuna frowned. “Right, you lost me. Is this some secret code that you and the brat have?”

Fushiguro blinked in confusion. “Secret… No, it’s not like that. See, sometimes people come to me, and they tell me what they feel for the other person, or what they want to say, and I listen. And then I try to put all of their emotions and words into the flowers so that the recipient will be able to feel it, no matter what.”

It was Sukuna’s turn to blink in confusion. “You just lost me for the second time. Are you trying to tell me there’s some universal Morse code spoken in flowers out there that people somehow speak?”

“I take it you’re not aware of the language of flowers?”

He’s not familiar, admittedly, but he’s heard of it before. Like how roses symbolize love or something. But Sukuna had always dismissed the idea as some kind of marketing ploy to get people to buy more flowers for Valentine’s.

It also sounded like a concept only a horrifyingly sappy romantic person would come up with, so no, not really Sukuna’s cup of tea.

“It’s also known as floriography.” Fushiguro continued. “Since ancient times, people have been communicating with flowers, although a lot of that subtlety has been lost nowadays. Back when it wasn’t easy to express your feelings aloud due to social norms, entire coded messages could be sent using bouquets; you just had to be careful that you were both using the same code or there could be a miscommunication.”

Fushiguro’s face lit up as he spoke, and Sukuna was enraptured. Underneath that calm exterior, it was clear that the florist was passionate about the subject, although he seemed to be holding himself back slightly. Perhaps he didn’t want to bore Sukuna.

Really, he didn’t have to worry about that. Sukuna doesn’t think for a minute that he could ever get bored of someone as interesting as Fushiguro Megumi.

He chuckled. “It sounds like there’ll still be some form of miscommunication. There can’t be a flower for every word out there.”

“No, but there are flowers to describe more situations than you’d expect.”

Sukuna leaned in closer, smirking. “Alright, I’ll bite. Let’s say you want to tell someone that they’re attractive. How would you say it with flowers?”

He expected Fushiguro to give him the name of a popular flower; there must be a reason why roses, tulips, and carnations always seemed to be go-to gifts of choice for a date (how many ways do you need to say “You’re cute” or “I love you” anyways?).

But Fushiguro held his gaze and asked him for more context.

“What about this person do you find attractive? What do you feel for them? You’re going to have to be a lot more specific than that.”

Sukuna frowned slightly. “I guess I find them really charming. An absolute delight to look at. Their eyes light up when they’re excited, and that just adds to the attraction. And then I find myself thinking that… I want to learn more about them.”

Fushiguro actually smirked back at him. “Sounds like a crush.”

“I suppose you could call it that.”


Sukuna raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”

“The flower you’re looking for is the ranunculus.” The florist headed into his shop, beckoning for Sukuna to follow. He picked up some colourful blossoms with copious layers of petals curled into a large, thick whorl to show Sukuna. “They make great gifts actually, and last for more than a week if kept well. I've got some ready-made bouquets if you'd like." Fushiguro nodded towards the direction of some pre-made arrangements displayed on a shelf behind him.

“I’ll take one. What does it mean again? 'I think you’re attractive'?”

Fushiguro plucked out a small bouquet, examined it for imperfections, and crossed over to the counter to enter the purchase into the register. “More or less. The ranunculus symbolizes charm and attraction, that feeling you get when you’re dazzled by their radiance, or have a crush on someone. Will that be all for today, or can I get you anything else?”

If this were one of those romantic movies, Sukuna would reply with a ‘Yep, can I get you?’, push the ranunculus bouquet back into the florist’s hands with a smirk on his face, Fushiguro’s eyes would widen and then he would begin blushing furiously, they’d maybe kiss and then go out and they’ll all live happily ever after.

But this was no romantic movie, Fushiguro has a business to run, and Sukuna has no business taking up his time any longer, so he simply declines and pays for his flowers like a proper adult and makes a mental note to grab a vase on his way home later.

Fushiguro sent him off with a quiet “Have a nice day”, and Sukuna already feels like his day is going to go great, thank you very much.

And if he went into work a little while later with flowers in his arms and a smile on his face, it was most certainly not because he was slowly but surely developing the world’s biggest crush on the pretty florist down the street.

“This is a complete disaster, Uraume.” Sukuna hissed in anger as he hung up on yet another frustrating call that went nowhere.

It’s the grand opening of one of their new restaurants, and literally everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, so sue him for being antsy. Sukuna’s spent the better part of the whole morning screaming at incompetent assistants, calling up suppliers to check on things, and travelling back and forth from the venue to make sure everything is complete perfection for their nutjob of a boss, and now their florist has bailed on them at the last minute, leaving the decorations for tomorrow’s big event unfinished.

Uraume (bless their soul) is being extremely calm throughout the entire thing, but Sukuna knew that his sous chef, too, is stressed out of their mind when Uraume begins to take longer pauses between speaking as if they have a million thoughts jumbled up and cannot decide on what to say.

“Perhaps we could alter the design a little? Do away with the flower stands, call up a party planner to whip up some… other decorations?”

“She explicitly asked for the stands, you know how particular she is about small details. She even specified the goddamned type of flowers she wanted so what are we going to replace that with?”

Uraume’s brow furrowed as they took another long pause before speaking in a small hesitant voice. “... Balloons?”

Sukuna threw his hands into the air in exasperation. He secretly wished they could order fifty balloon arches just for laughs and get away with it, but he also knows his boss too well to know that the aftermath wouldn’t be worth it.

Uraume is already pulling out their phone and scrolling through a list of contacts. “I could try Kanzashi, but there’s always a waiting list and they don’t usually do last minute orders. Or perhaps...”

Sukuna let them ramble off a list of alternatives, somehow knowing that none of them would be available, or willing, to take on an order this level of insane at such a late hour. He closed his eyes and sunk lower into the chair, willing his headache to just go away. Why was it so important to have flowers that symbolize good luck or prosperity at the opening of a new restaurant anyway?

His eyes snapped open as a thought occurred to him. Uraume glanced at him as he sat up straight and pulled out his phone to make a call.

“Oi, brat, that florist friend of yours, give me his number.”

“Wow, Sukuna, is there something you want to tell me? Listen, if you’re trying to hit on Megumi, you should probably ask him for his number directly.”

Sukuna’s already regretting two things: admitting to Yuuji that he’d gotten flowers from Fushiguro after that night (Yuuji had stopped by his apartment, spotted the dying ranunculi in a vase, and proceeded to chide him about the proper care of cut flowers before needling him out of the details), and impulse-dialling his brat of a brother instead of searching for Blessing’s number online.

“I don’t have time to play with you, Yuuji, this is for work. I need a florist for a last-minute emergency, and I need him fast. Do I look like I know many florists personally?”

“Ah, got it, keep your pants on. I’ll text you his number then.”

Sukuna was glad that Yuuji could be depended on when he needed it. His phone pinged as the text containing Fushiguro’s number appeared, along with a message below that read: “For work purposes only. Do not use for inappropriate flirting.” followed by what Sukuna supposed was an angry emoji.

He ignored the message and dialled the number almost immediately. Despite what Yuuji had implied, he was not going to flirt with the florist, no matter how adorably attractive he was. Nope, no way. He has an emergency, it’s going to be strictly business, and it’s not like he has a crush on-

“Hello, this is Blessing. How may I help you today?”

Aaaaand his thoughts are already starting to wander. How is it that even his voice could be so attractive? Sukuna was so fucked.

He forced himself to speak in a steady, casual tone. “Hey, Fushiguro? Yuuji’s brother here. We’ve met a couple times.”

There was a moment of silence, and Sukuna wasn’t sure why he had a small panicked thought that Fushiguro might have hung up on him. Did he come on too strong? Was he too direct? How the heck does one call to place an order for flowers anyway?

The florist’s voice came back on the line, flooding Sukuna with a wave of relief. “I remember. Sukuna, was it? Wait… Is this about Yuuji?”

“Oh hell no. Listen, do you do flower stands? Like, for grand openings and events and all sorts?”

There was another pause. “That we do. Will you be needing one soon?”

Sukuna scoffed. “One? Try twenty. We’ve got a restaurant opening night tomorrow, and the guy we hired to make the stands bailed on us, so now we’re stuck with none of those dumb flowers.”

He could hear the florist’s sharp inhale of breath on the other end, and his heart sank for a second. He wasn’t going to do it, Sukuna just knew it. No florist alive would be crazy enough to take on such a large order in such a short amount of time, and Sukuna will be hearing no end of this from his boss come tomorrow night.

He sighed. “It’s a no, isn’t it? Thought so. Never mind, I’ll sort something else out, thanks for yo-”

“Give me specifics.”

Sukuna blinked. “What?”

“Colour, theme, type of flower, what’s the vibe you’re trying to go for? Flashy, minimalistic, obnoxiously grand to the point you want to burn everything down?”

Sukuna chuckled. Somehow hearing Fushiguro talk is calming him down a little. “The boss wants twenty of these stands lining the front entrance. She wants them to be purple to match the decor, but insists they must contain sunflowers.”

He heard the florist choke slightly at the idea. “Sunflowers… against a background of… You know what, never mind, I’ve had stranger orders.”

“You tell me. Her PA got chewed out for trying to talk her out of the sunflowers; said they symbolize prosperity and leaving them out on opening night would be a bad omen. You have no idea how superstitious she can get.”

Fushiguro made an odd sound that sounded like he’s trying to stop himself from bursting into laughter. “I suppose this would be a bad time to tell you that sunflowers can also mean ‘false riches’? Maybe don’t tell your boss that.”

“I’m rather tempted to do just that right now.”

He heard a small snicker on the other end, and smiled at having made the other man laugh.

“Well, do you have pictures of the place? I’ll try to match the decor.”

“I could send a couple to you later, sure. Wait, Fushiguro, does this mean you’ll do it?”

The florist sighed heavily. “It’s insanity, but I’ll try. What time do you need them by?”

“6 p.m. tomorrow. Do you need someone to come pick it all up or...?”

“I’ll handle delivery and assembly on my own. Can’t trust you ruffians around my delicate arrangements after all.”

Sukuna smiled at the jibe. “Fushiguro, I appreciate it. Let me know how much it’s going to cost and I’ll wire the money immediately.”

“I will be charging extra.”

“That’s fine. It’s… really appreciated. I’ll send you the photos later.”

He ended the call and looked up to find Uraume staring at him intently. He realized he was still smiling and quickly re-arranged his features into what he hoped was a neutral, disinterested look.

“Problem solved?” His sous chef asked curiously.

Sukuna nodded slightly as he started pulling up photos from his gallery to send to Fushiguro. “Yeah, don’t worry about it. I’m sure this guy’ll take care of it. He’s… pretty good.” He said with a straight face.

Uraume raised an eyebrow, and then gave Sukuna a knowing smirk, which Sukuna proceeded to ignore entirely as he texted Fushiguro the pictures.

Fushiguro delivered. He fucking delivered.

The florist had called him back after he sent the photos the day before to ask for more details. He also made it a point to inform Sukuna (once again) that the order is insane and there was absolutely no way they were fitting twenty of those stands into the narrow entranceway. He somehow also managed to get more information out of Sukuna regarding his boss’s preferences, before ending the call on a note that “he’ll manage, somehow”.

And now Sukuna is standing at the entrance of the venue watching Fushiguro slide the final flower stand into place, and trying to hide his awe at how good Fushiguro is making everything look.

It looked amazing. Somehow the florist seemed to have grasped what his boss had wanted, and made it work, stupid sunflowers and all. They had agreed on the second call to cut the number down to ten, because Fushiguro insisted he could achieve the same effect with less and apparently, he succeeded.

The best thing about the stands was the floral arrangement. It didn’t take a genius to know that sunflowers were flashy things, but the way they were arranged amongst a sea of purples and deep reds just complemented everything so well. Fushiguro had even made two with different arrangements to be placed at specific spots to avoid washing everything out.

Sukuna watched as the florist put some finishing touches onto the last flower stand and then leaned back to give it one final look-over. Then he turned and their eyes met before Sukuna had a chance to look away, and Sukuna didn’t miss how Fushiguro froze up slightly upon noticing that Sukuna had been watching him work.

He quickly shifted his gaze to the stand closest to him, pretending to observe one particularly large sunflower, but out of the corner of his eye he noticed Fushiguro walk past him to retrieve more items from his van.

As he pulled out more floral decorations clearly meant for the pillars and walls that Sukuna didn’t even remember telling him about and began putting them up, Sukuna couldn’t be more impressed at how thorough Fushiguro was being about decorating the place.

When Fushiguro was done, finally done, the florist placed both arms on his lower back and stretched a little, inhaling a deep breath.

It hit Sukuna that the florist was tired. It was written all over his face, the bags under his eyes, and the slight slouch of his shoulders. Sukuna wondered if he had stayed up all night for this, and his heart ached. Fushiguro was now stretching his arms before him, fingers laced together, and Sukuna had the sudden urge to kiss those delicate fingers and thank him over and over again for his help.

He approached the florist, who looked up at him and then tossed a questioning glance at the finished result over his shoulder.

“Everything to your liking?”

Sukuna shrugged offhandedly. “Doesn’t matter, as long as the boss likes it. Although I’m sure she will. You’ve impressed me, Fushiguro.”

The florist sighed tiredly. “I wasn’t trying to impress you. It’s my job, after all. I’ll send you the invoice and you can wire me the payment later. Now if there’s nothing else...”

“Actually…” Sukuna paused, a sudden thought having occurred to him. “Would you like to stay for dinner? The event’s invitation-only, but I’m sure I can get you in somehow. Consider it a reward for a job well done.”

Fushiguro shook his head and glanced down at his grubby clothes. “I’ll pass. I’m… not really dressed for the part anyways.”

“That’s a shame. You should come by some other time though. I can assure you the food’s amazing.”

The florist just shrugged and made a non-committal hum. “We’ll see. Not sure if fine dining’s really my thing. Especially not with sunflowers breathing down your neck as you take every bite.”

Sukuna smirked. “Aww, and here I thought you had a thing for sunflowers, considering how expertly you handled them.”

“They’re not exactly my favourite flower.” Fushiguro admitted. “And after tonight, I think I might just set an entire field on fire if I have to look at another sunflower for at least a week.”

Sukuna thinks he might just do the same, actually. He chuckled at the thought, tension easing out of his shoulders. “At least I’m paying you well for it, no? Or rather, my boss is.” He looked directly at Fushiguro, holding his gaze as he spoke his next words.

“Thank you, Fushiguro. I really do appreciate the work done tonight. Promise me you’ll get some rest.”

“I’m doing nothing but sleeping as soon as I get back, rest assured.” Fushiguro gathered up some of his materials and began packing them into the van, Sukuna helping him out with the clean-up. As the florist opened the door to get in, he paused for a while before muttering softly in such a quiet tone that Sukuna almost didn’t catch what he said.

“Have a good evening, Sukuna. I hope the sunflowers bring you luck.”

Sukuna watched as the van disappeared into the night, pondering the florist’s words. And then, steeling himself for the busy night ahead, he turned and headed back inside, hoping the kitchen wasn’t already on fire or something.

The bright yellow flowers rustled gently as he strode past. They’d better bring them goddamned luck; Sukuna knows he’s going to need it to get through the night.

Opening night turned out to be a resounding success, and his boss had been exhilarated at how the decorations turned out (She’d even suggested to Sukuna that they start ordering flowers for their dinner service too, which Sukuna had pointedly ignored because he felt like Fushiguro would balk at being asked to deliver sunflowers on a daily basis).

The staff were all exhausted but happy, and even Uraume seemed glad at the prospect of being able to sleep in for the next few days, as they were starting only with the dinner menu and weren’t required to come in until late afternoon. It was a prospect that was also appealing to Sukuna, except he couldn’t stop thinking about Fushiguro and how he wanted to thank him properly.

He kind of wished he could’ve at least treated the florist to a proper meal. Alright, perhaps part of him wanted to have a shot at impressing Fushiguro with what he excelled in, but he also felt a little bad at putting Fushiguro in the awkward position of turning down dinner because of an inappropriate dress code.

Not that Sukuna minded, personally. Fushiguro could be wearing a potato sack for all he cared and Sukuna would probably still find him attractive.

But he remembered how the florist seemed to have felt a little self-conscious at his messed-up work attire, and it made him feel all funny inside. He doesn’t know why he minded so much that Fushiguro felt… inferior or something.

Which was how he found himself carrying two coffee cups in a holder and some pastries in a bag, strolling briskly to the flower shop instead of sleeping in on a quiet Monday morning.

The gentle tinkling of the bell announced his arrival as usual, but even that didn’t arouse the sleeping form of the florist, sprawled across the counter with his spiky hair all over the place. Sukuna placed the coffee and pastries beside him quietly, and paused for a moment to gaze down at the object of his affections.

He was pretty even when he was sleeping. Sukuna resisted the urge to run his fingers through his jet-black hair while he slept.

He wondered what it would be like to wake up beside this every morning, the gentle rise and fall of those thin shoulders wrapped in his embrace, his soft steady breathing a calming presence instead of a wistful fantasy.

Perhaps, he’ll admit, he really does like Fushiguro Megumi. A lot.

He also realized it was probably really creepy of him to keep staring uninvited, and despite his reluctance to disturb the other’s sleep, he tapped the florist’s shoulder gently.

“Fushiguro?” He said in a low voice.

Fushiguro inhaled deeply, and his lashes fluttered open. Those emerald orbs stared sleepily at Sukuna for a moment, before flying open in shock as the recognition settled in. The florist quickly pushed himself away from the counter and stood up to greet him.

“Oh hey, sorry, did you need anything?”

Sukuna pushed a cup of coffee in front of him and smirked. “Nope, but it looks like you could use some coffee.”

Fushiguro stared at the cup for a while, before reaching to take it and muttering a small thanks in return. Sukuna watched as the florist inhaled its scent, a sigh of relief spreading across his weary features as he took a small sip, the sight of which caused a warm feeling to bloom across Sukuna’s chest.

“Rough night?”

“Didn’t sleep much.”

“Are you always up fulfilling last-minute orders for demanding customers with horrible taste?”

The florist scoffed. “Not everyone is as demanding as you. But if you must know, one of my dogs threw up all over my apartment this morning before the alarm even went off. I was quite ready to close shop for the day and call in sick for once.”

“Oh, so you’re an animal lover too? Good with both plants and animals, you’re just the whole package, huh?”

Fushiguro glared at Sukuna over the rim of the cup. “Surprised? You’re one to talk, I’d never have pegged you to be in that line of work. What are you, a chef?”

“Head chef.” Sukuna puffed out his chest proudly. “I actually work at Fukuma Mizushi, but will be splitting my time between the main location and the new branch that just opened for the time being until the new team can settle in.”

Truth be told, he loves his job, and he also loves the fact that he’s amazingly good at it. He also kind of enjoys bossing his team around in the kitchen (it’s strangely entertaining to watch some of the newer staff scramble to follow his hellish instructions but the pay-off is always worth it when he brings out their full potential and the dish turns out perfect). Sure, it could get stressful at times, and there were downsides, but in the kitchen Sukuna was king and he knew it. Was proud of it, even.

Someday, he was going to open his own place, just you wait.

He grinned at the florist who seemed to not recognize the name of the restaurant. “You know, I’m surprised you haven’t heard of my culinary talents.”

Fushiguro had the audacity to raise an eyebrow at that. “Are you any good?”

Sukuna chuckled and leaned closer. “Why don’t you drop by someday and find out? I’ll even make you my special.”

The florist took another sip of coffee. “Do I get special access, or should I make a reservation?”

“We’re actually fully booked for dinner service for the whole of next month, but tell you what, anytime you feel like taking me up on my offer, you let me know, and I’ll make you lunch. You can just come by in the afternoon instead, no reservations required.”

Fushiguro’s eyes widened slightly and he gulped down more coffee while seemingly pondering Sukuna’s invitation. And then he smirked.

“You must think you’re really good.”

“Trust me, sweetheart, I am. Look me up sometime, will you?”

He caught Fushiguro rolling his eyes slightly, but there was no ill intent in the act. If anything, it felt like the other man was amused, even if his face had his usual bored expression again. The florist finished his coffee and pulled out his wallet.

“Thanks for the coffee by the way. How much do I-” His sentence was interrupted by Sukuna’s raised hand.

“It’s on me. It’s the least I can do after you pulled that all-nighter. And don’t you dare pay me for the pastries either; I was serious when I said your work was appreciated.”

Perhaps it was a trick of the light, but Sukuna swore that the florist might have blushed a little. And then just as quickly, Fushiguro waved the statement off like it was no big deal.

“It was… nothing. Thank you.” He glanced back at Sukuna curiously. “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

‘Go out with me?’ Sukuna’s mind supplied hopefully. “Can you make me a bouquet?” His mouth offered stupidly before he even had a chance to stop himself.

“Any specific requests?” The florist asked even as he was already pulling out a roll of paper to spread across the counter.

“Surprise me.”

And then, ah, there it was, that small, adorable smile, and Sukuna would buy a bouquet a day for the rest of his life if it meant that Fushiguro Megumi would smile for him everytime he did so.

The florist worked in silence, occasionally breaking his routine to pull out fresh flowers from buckets, trimming and cleaning them with a steadfast purpose that had Sukuna riveted. Sukuna had never properly observed Fushiguro create his floral arrangements before, and it was calming, enchanting even, to watch his delicate fingers go through the motions like a sacred ritual he had been practicing for years.

This was Fushiguro in his element, dedicated to his craft with the same single-minded focus Sukuna had when he would carefully plate his best dishes, settling for nothing less than perfection. Each blossom melded to his will without resistance, every curl of a petal tucked in the right position to bring out the peak of its beauty, every flower given its place to shine without being overshadowed.

The result was a simple but perfect bouquet of light purple and white, framed beautifully in Fushiguro’s arms as the florist presented the finished arrangement to him, the sight of which had Sukuna wondering, how had he never liked flowers before?

“Do you like it?” The florist asked.

Sukuna looked straight into his emerald eyes and answered without hesitation.

“I do.”

They developed a sort of routine henceforth; Sukuna would drop by on Mondays and Fridays (any more than that and it might be a little too obvious), usually with coffee (for both him and Fushiguro), they’d chat a little (about anything and everything in their lives), and then Sukuna would leave with a bunch of flowers which he would then proceed to put into small vases on the tables of their restaurant. (Uraume was beginning to judge him so hard, he just knew it.)

He found out how Fushiguro and Yuuji first met. A mutual acquaintance had linked up a panicking Yuuji, about to go on a first date with no gift in mind, with Fushiguro, who was just starting out in the florist business. They’d hit it off and became actual friends, and Fushiguro still credits his business taking off to Yuuji (He’s a really good hype man, Fushiguro claims. Sukuna doesn’t doubt that statement at all).

He learned that Fushiguro has two dogs, not one, and that their names are Shiro and Kuro. Shiro is the elder and quieter of the two, Kuro was the one who threw up all over Fushiguro’s apartment the other day. They sound like a handful, but Fushiguro clearly loved them with all his heart, and Sukuna was actually a little jealous that he might have to fight for Fushiguro’s attention someday with two huskies. (Sukuna also had a sinking suspicion that he might actually lose.)

He learned that Fushiguro enjoyed reading in his free time. There was one Monday when Fushiguro had brought in a book and he spied it lying on the counter, so he took the opportunity to ask him about it. Now Fushiguro would sometimes ramble about the latest title he was reading as he arranged whatever Sukuna's order was for the day, and Sukuna would let him. He enjoyed listening to the florist wax lyrical about the things he liked, and Sukuna thinks he’d never get bored of this.

He also discovered that Fushiguro Megumi, somehow, knows and is on first-name basis with famous actor and celebrity heart-throb Gojo Satoru.

It was one of those days when he was running a little late, and by the time he got to Blessing with coffee in tow, he stopped and gaped at the sight that was Gojo Satoru hugging Fushiguro in the middle of the shop.

“Gojo, please, get off. Oh, hello Sukuna.”

Sukuna recognized Gojo immediately. You’d have to be living under a rock not to; it seemed like Gojo was starring in almost everything these days or at the very least, doing his best to ensure that his face was plastered across every available surface in the city. He was also known for being a little eccentric; he was extremely selective about the projects he would take on, and till today, nobody knew what exactly would get Gojo to agree to something. He just did (or didn’t).

But Sukuna also knew who Gojo Satoru was because he had been the one reason Yuuji had wanted to get into acting in the first place.

He even remembered how excited his brother had been when he managed to land a role in a production starring alongside Gojo. Yuuji had kept him up all night gushing about how talented Gojo was, how nice he was, how much pressure he felt to be acting alongside him, and Sukuna had almost considered staying over at Uraume’s for once.

From what he's heard from his brother, Gojo was actually a great mentor figure, one who spent a lot of time behind the scenes giving advice to the newbies. Yet maybe it was the fact that Yuuji worshipped Gojo so much, or maybe Sukuna just didn’t know him that well (he’d only crossed paths with him a couple times at some of the events Yuuji invited him to, and he’s definitely seen Gojo dining at Fukuma Mizushi before), but Sukuna always had a feeling he may not like Gojo in real life. He just somehow comes off as an arrogant prick to Sukuna.

The white-haired man is now looking directly at Sukuna with his arm still slung around Fushiguro, and Sukuna needed him to fuck right off like, yesterday.

“Oh, and who’s this? Megumi-chan, something you want to update me about?”

Sukuna frowned. Megumi-chan? How close were they, and actually, scratch that, how did Fushiguro know Gojo Satoru in the first place?

Fushiguro shrugged Gojo’s arm off his shoulders. “He’s Yuuji’s brother. Have you never met him?”

Gojo lifted his shades a little to fix Sukuna with a piercing blue stare. “We’ve crossed paths, but I’ve never seen him in here before, Megumi.” Sukuna watched as he slung his arm around Fushiguro’s shoulders again to pull him closer in a protective stance. He decided immediately that he definitely didn’t like Gojo.

“He gets flowers sometimes. He also has a clear sense of personal boundaries.”

Sukuna took that as his cue to step forward and hand Fushiguro his cup of coffee, who tried (and failed) to shrug Gojo off a second time and gave up, simply reaching out to grab the beverage with a nod of thanks. Gojo watched the interaction with interest.

“He also seems to have gotten you coffee.”

Fushiguro seemed unfazed. “Fair point. You should start bringing me gifts too everytime you drop in unannounced.”

Gojo placed a hand over his heart in mock surprise. “Megumi-chan, you hurt me. I do my best to spoil you and this is the thanks I get? If I knew you wanted coffee, I’d have bought the shop lot beside yours, and turned it into a cafe for you. Would you like that?”

It was beginning to sound like Gojo was his sugar daddy or something but Sukuna didn’t think Fushiguro would be the sort who… would he? No, there’s no way, Sukuna knows Fushiguro better now; the man has simple tastes and hates inconveniencing others, he has less self-preservation instincts than a baby rabbit, and he is most certainly not the type to seek out a sugar daddy to be pampered.

But there's still a seed of doubt gnawing at him. Fushiguro’s always managed to surprise him, somehow. He’s learned many unexpected things about the florist too, like the fact that he had once gotten into a row with one of Yuuji’s friends who had called him boring (the nerve of the fella; Sukuna would give him a piece of his mind if he ever met him for deigning to think that Fushiguro could be boring), and thrown punches, even.

He hated to think about Fushiguro this way, but how else could one explain their closeness, the way Gojo was clinging to him, and how Fushiguro just seemed to let him?

There was no use dwelling on such thoughts, however. Rather than let his mind run wild with speculations, Sukuna cleared his throat, unable to stand the disgusting display of affection before him any longer.

“Can I get my usual order, Fushiguro? I’d hate to rush you especially if you’re occupied-” He glared at Gojo pointedly. “-but I don’t plan on making a second trip back today.”

The florist managed to bodily lift Gojo’s arm off him this time, and headed over to the workbench to begin preparing a bouquet for Sukuna. As soon as he’s gone, Sukuna initiates a staredown with Gojo.

“How does someone like you know him?” He snapped.

Gojo smirked. “That should be my line. From what Yuuji tells me, you’re not typically a flower person.”

“Neither are you. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you don’t look like the sort to bother getting flowers for your date. Or do you even do dates?”

Gojo’s eyes narrowed, but his smirk never waned. “I can be really romantic if I want to. Can’t say the same for the man they call the ‘Two-Faced Spectre’.”

Sukuna knows what they call him, and frankly he doesn’t care. He didn’t get to his position by being nice to people, he’d fought tooth and nail for his accomplishments, and if people thought he couldn’t be trusted or disliked him for it then that was their problem. Those who worked closely with him knew better, but even then Sukuna never bothered to soften his abrasive personality around them.

Which is why he really doesn’t like how affected he’s getting by the way Gojo is flipping all his retorts right back at him.

He glowered at the actor, drawing himself up to his full height (even then Gojo still seemed to tower over him, what the fuck), but before they could resume their verbal spat, an array of flowers burst into view in front of him, Fushiguro holding the bouquet between them like a stop sign.

The florist had gone with goldenrods today, their tiny blossoms exploding like mini fireworks in his hands. Sukuna seemed to forget what he was about to say as Fushiguro fixed him with his familiar questioning look and gave the bouquet a little wave, which drew his attention immediately to the swaying bright yellow sprigs.

“This look okay?” The florist prompted when Sukuna remained silent.

The sight of the goldenrods seemed to encourage this crazy idea that was taking root in his mind, and he spoke before he could even stop himself.

“They look amazing. Can I get more of these, Fushiguro?”

Fushiguro frowned a little. “You want another bouquet made, or just more flowers added to this one?”

“Three more bouquets. Thanks.”

Fushiguro deadpanned. “Three… I’m sorry, Sukuna. Did you just say ‘three’?”

Sukuna nodded, resuming his glaring match with Gojo. Fushiguro glanced between them both for a moment, a worried furrow in his brows. Then he shoved the bouquet into Sukuna’s hands. “Hold this.” He muttered as he left to prepare more bouquets for Sukuna without another word.

Gojo’s smirk actually grew bigger, the bastard, as he spoke. “My, my, seems like you must really like flowers.”

“I just think Fushiguro’s got talent. You got a problem with that?” Sukuna nearly growled.

“Oh, Megumi-chan’s got talent, I’ll give you that. In fact, sometimes he draws unwanted attention with those talents, y’know?”

He doesn’t like what Gojo is implying. “I’m not the one who has issues respecting personal boundaries.”

Gojo rolled his eyes. “Please, Megumi and I go way back. Oh wait, he’s never told you about us, has he?”

It felt like something was squeezing his chest, making it difficult to breathe. It’s true, the florist has never mentioned Gojo. Heck, he’s barely talked about any of his friends aside from Yuuji, but Sukuna supposed it wasn’t his place to pry into his private life like that, so he’s never really asked. But now, he feels like an idiot, and he’s asking himself a million questions that he wished he knew the answers to.

What did he know about Fushiguro anyway?

“Gojo, don’t you have to be somewhere soon? Sukuna, would you like me to deliver the rest of these instead?” Fushiguro returned to the spot beside him with the extra bouquets almost spilling out of his thin arms. Sukuna finally tore his gaze away from Gojo and shook his head.

“I can handle them. Can I pay you later?”

“I might need to start a tab for you, huh?” Fushiguro said mischievously as he piled the extra bouquets into his arm. “Just wire the money to me later. Or pay me next week.”

Gojo is watching their interaction like a hawk, but Fushiguro shot him a warning glare before turning back to Sukuna. At first it seemed like the florist wanted to say something else to him, but then decided against it and simply wished him a good day ahead as Sukuna left Blessing looking like a walking bush.

Uraume, on the other hand, doesn’t bat an eyelid as Sukuna walked into the kitchen and calmly commented without even looking up from the magazine they were reading.

“We’re running out of vases, Sukuna.”

Sukuna reached for a nearby spoon and chucked it at Uraume’s head.

Fushiguro doesn’t bring up Gojo Satoru after the goldenrod incident. Sukuna’s both grateful that he doesn’t have to hear about the other man again, but also annoyed that he still doesn’t know what their relationship is.

He doesn’t know how to talk about this with the florist without sounding like he’s invading his privacy though. It sounds crazy, but Sukuna really doesn’t want to risk losing what he currently has with Fushiguro.

He enjoyed their little chats. For half an hour, twice a week, he has the florist all to himself, lost in a little world of their own. Mondays and Fridays were quickly becoming his favourite days of the week, and each time he walked out of Blessing with his bouquet of flowers, he would already be looking forward to the next time they’d meet.

A part of him hoped that Fushiguro was looking forward to Mondays and Fridays just as much as he was.

The florist was talking about a book he’s been reading recently as he arranged another bouquet for Sukuna (He’d started reading it only last week, and Sukuna has already ordered a copy as well so he can better understand what Fushiguro is talking about). Today, it was tulips, and he watched Fushiguro trim each bud carefully and place them into position to be wrapped up soon.

“I must’ve talked your ear off today.” Fushiguro said apologetically.

Sukuna glanced up sharply at the florist, who was finishing up the bouquet and also looking slightly embarrassed. “Sweetheart, you can talk my ear off any day of the week.” He smirked, before adding. “You really like this author, huh?”

Fushiguro nodded and handed Sukuna the flowers, before crossing over to the register to enter the purchase as usual. “I do. I think I’ve bought every single one of her books to date.” His hand hovered over the register for a moment, before falling to his side as he hesitated. An unreadable expression came over his usually stern features.

The strange behaviour caused Sukuna to frown. Yet before he could say or do anything, Fushiguro spoke up first, his quiet voice punching through the silence between them.

“You know, you really do buy a lot of flowers. Kinda like Yuuji; he’s always getting them for his boyfriend, or some special occasion, or just to cheer someone up.” He drew a deep breath. “I don’t suppose you’re… getting them for someone?”

The question caught Sukuna off guard. He wasn’t actually doing anything in particular with the flowers, honestly. They’d end up in vases at the restaurant, at his apartment, or foisted onto one of his acquaintances with little to no explanation (it’s usually Uraume, but he suspects Uraume actually does something with the flowers they bring home). Sure, the flowers always seemed to bring joy to anyone who received them, and Sukuna definitely doesn’t mind just buying them forever, but he felt like Fushiguro might not be too happy to know where his flowers were ending up.

Fushiguro had always strived to put meaning into his arrangements. It might actually be disrespectful to not use the flowers for their intended purpose after all.

The last thing he wanted Fushiguro to think is that Sukuna has been disregarding his life’s work by buying his bouquets even though he never had a use for them. It would be the same if someone came in to dine at Fukuma Mizushi, then left every dish untouched.

It’s just… The florist always looked so happy when he made or sold his bouquets. His default expression was a bored-looking scowl, but that small shy smile always emerged whenever he finished an arrangement he was particularly proud of, or listened to a delighted customer gush about a date gone well thanks to one of his designs. It was always when he thought no one was paying attention, but little did he know that Sukuna’s was already on him.

He just wanted Fushiguro Megumi to be happy.

So he chose his next words carefully, trying not to reveal anything that could risk disappointing the other man. “Not really. I’m not exactly the romantic type, but I thought you knew that already?” He put on a smirk, hoping it would come across as nonchalantly confident.

If the florist was bothered, he didn’t show it. “I don’t mean to pry. Just… Whoever it is, I hope they like it.”

Sukuna stared into the tulips tucked under his arm. “Trust me, they do.”

“Well, as long as my customers are satisfied.” The florist shrugged. “Anything else I can get for you?” He glanced back at Sukuna, but they both knew that it was just a formality. His order had stayed the same ever since the first day (barring that one time which Sukuna would much rather forget), and there had been little variation ever since.

He shook his head, Fushiguro acknowledged it, he paid for the bouquet in his hands, and now the next step would be the exchange of goodbyes and the cycle would repeat itself in a few more days.

They’ve developed a sort of routine, but perhaps it’s time Sukuna switched things up a little.

He reached for a particularly large tulip with a striking pattern, the deep purple of each petal giving way to feathered edges of yellow, and pulled it out slowly. He stared at it for a moment, contemplating his next move, and then he pushed the flower gently into Fushiguro’s hand.

“For you, Fushiguro.”

A blush spread across Fushiguro’s cheeks as he curled his fingers around the flower, but he didn't push it away. He dropped his gaze and muttered. “You do realize I sell these, right?”

Sukuna chuckled. “You do, but it’s a different story to be receiving one, no? Besides, a beautiful flower like this… I think it suits you perfectly.”

Fushiguro is really cute when he’s blushing furiously, and Sukuna thinks he really wouldn’t mind doing this again.

Perhaps, for once, things are going his way.

‘I’ll be there then. See you.’

His heart beat with excitement when he received Fushiguro’s text. It had been a pleasant surprise; Blessing was going to be closed this Friday for a bit of renovations, so he knew he couldn’t drop by as usual, but then Fushiguro had texted him out of nowhere asking if he could drop by for lunch instead.

Oh hell yes. Sukuna had quickly responded with a time for Fushiguro and promised to meet him there, before punching the air in celebration.

Finally. It was his turn to impress Fushiguro, and he was going to do a damned-good job of it.

Sukuna hadn’t expected Fushiguro to remember, or even take him up on the offer he’d made weeks ago. They were still fully booked for dinner service (his boss still credits the sunflowers), but Sukuna could probably head in earlier in the day and prepare a lunch course for Fushiguro. It would just be him and the florist, alone together in the restaurant with no one to bother them.

Did this count as a date? Sukuna doesn’t know, but he did not end up getting much sleep that night.

Fushiguro showed up right on time as agreed, dressed in a loose knitted cream-coloured sweater and dark, fitting jeans. It was the first time Sukuna had seen him without his work apron or slacks, and he thought the casual choice of clothes suited Fushiguro nicely. Sukuna ushered him into the quiet restaurant with a huge grin on his face, leading him to the bar area that was right next to their kitchen. Sukuna would be both his chef and server today.

Fushiguro seemed to have picked up on that as well. “A private lunch course for one, huh? Didn’t realise I signed up for something this fancy.”

“Only for you, sweetheart. There aren’t many who’d get this honour, I can assure you.”

They had an open kitchen concept, so that diners could observe the chefs at work. Where Fushiguro was seated, he could watch Sukuna as he worked, from the preparation to the plating of each dish with a finesse only a trained expert could pull off.

Sukuna’s hands were steady even as he felt those emerald eyes on him. He glanced up occasionally, the florist breaking his gaze everytime he did so, a slight flush on his face as if he had been caught staring when he shouldn’t have been. Everytime it happened, Sukuna would flash a smug grin his way and resume his work, relishing the feeling that Fushiguro couldn’t keep his eyes off him. Their positions were reversed, and it felt good to have Fushiguro look at him like only he mattered in the world and nothing else.

He, too, wanted to be the most interesting person in the world to Fushiguro.

The florist thanked him as he laid out the first dish, and Sukuna held his breath as he took the first bite. When Fushiguro’s eyes widened and he took another, and another, Sukuna couldn’t stop a smile from spreading on his face.

“This is really good.” Fushiguro muttered later as he bit into a piece of fish. “The flavours just… How’d you even think of this combination?”

“I told you I was good, sweetheart. Try this next.” He pushed a small dish with some specially-prepared pickled ginger, a palate cleanser of sorts. Fushiguro’s eyes lit up as the spicy-sweet taste burst onto his tongue, and Sukuna smiled at the other’s enjoyment. He could feed Fushiguro for days; watching Fushiguro react to every dish he had painstakingly whipped up for him was a treat on its own.

He removed the empty dish once Fushiguro was finished, and placed the next one before him. This one was a new idea he’d had recently, and he was still experimenting with the presentation, to be honest. He watched Fushiguro lift one of the small flowers placed as garnish and observe it with interest.

“It’s edible." Sukuna explained. "Everything on that plate is meant to be eaten.”

Fushiguro observed the flower for another moment, and then his lips parted, soft pink tongue darting out to catch the tiny blossom, and Sukuna got very distracted for a minute thinking about the things he wanted to do with that tongue.

He’s still a little distracted when the meal is over, and nearly forgot to ask Fushiguro what he thought of the entire course. Pouring them both drinks as he listened to Fushiguro’s comments on some of the dishes, Sukuna made mental notes on what could be improved, but for the most part, pride was swelling up within him because Fushiguro had actually enjoyed the meal.

Fushiguro leaned forward on his arms, gazing into the depths of his glass. “I concede. You're actually good at this.”

Sukuna snorted as he put away everything. “Would I lie to you, sweetheart? I’m going to open my own place someday, and it’s going to be the best in town.”

“I didn’t think you were lying. Just, well, overcompensating.”

“There’s nothing to compensate for when you’re the top of the class, my dear.”

“Show-off.” Fushiguro chided softly. “I think you’d do well though. Opening your own place, I mean.” He looked away as he said it, another flush creeping up his neck, barely visible in the dim light. “Just maybe don’t decorate the place with sunflowers.”

Sukuna groaned. “Those darned things won’t be allowed within the vicinity, I swear…”

Fushiguro chuckled, and then finished the rest of his drink. “Well, thanks for the meal. I probably should be going.”

Sukuna made a hurried glance at the clock hanging inside the kitchen. He couldn’t believe he’d lost track of time; he’d been so occupied with Fushiguro’s company that he really hadn’t noticed. It was already past one, and the rest of the staff should begin arriving shortly for their shift. Sukuna knew no one would dare say anything against him, but it would probably be for the best if he got Fushiguro out of here before anyone else spotted him.

He escorted the florist to the door. He knew he shouldn’t take up any more of his time, but Sukuna couldn’t help slowing down his steps a little, as if he subconsciously wanted to spend just a bit more time with him. He still had so many things to say to Fushiguro, and he wanted this moment to last forever, but then they were already at the door and Fushiguro was turning to say goodbye, and he felt a slight disappointment that it was over so soon.

“Hey, Fushiguro? Thanks for coming.”

The florist tugged at his sleeves lightly. “I should be saying that to you.”

“How so?” Sukuna teased.

“You’re always buying my flowers. So… Thank you for coming as well.” Fushiguro looked up at him with a serious expression. “I guess I’ll see you next week as usual?”

Sukuna nodded. “You can count on it, sweetheart.”

Fushiguro looked stunned for a moment, and then his expression softened as that familiar shy smile took over his normally stern features. The sight of it made a warm, fuzzy feeling blossom within Sukuna’s chest, it always did, and he found himself drawing closer to the one person he’s been slowly falling in love with over the past few weeks.

Ah, that’s what this feeling is, isn’t it? Sukuna doesn’t know how he never realized this sooner, but he pushed those thoughts out of his mind because right now nothing mattered except this beautiful, amazing, fascinating person who’s looking at him with deep-green eyes, lips slightly parted. Fushiguro was close, really close, he could count every single one of his pretty eyelashes, and in a moment of insanity, Sukuna wanted nothing more than to kiss him, right there and then.

His heart is pounding so loudly in his chest, he wondered if Fushiguro could even hear it, but he can’t tell what the other man’s thinking, there’s a strange expression on his face, and Sukuna almost hesitates because what if Fushiguro doesn’t want this, what if-

But then Fushiguro leans in closer as well, eyelids fluttering shut, and all Sukuna has to do is lean in and their lips would meet, so he closes his eyes and does just that and-

The door slammed suddenly behind them, and they’re both startled, the loud noise wrenching them rudely out of the otherwise perfect moment. Fushiguro pulled away from him quickly, and Sukuna whipped around to glare at the intruder, fully intent on murdering the bastard if it didn’t turn out to be Uraume with a horrified look on their face.

Sukuna sighed loudly. “Uraume.”

His sous chef’s eyes darted back and forth between him and Fushiguro. “Hey, Sukuna.” They pronounced their words slowly, as if their brain needed some time to process their thoughts. “I didn’t realize you were going to be here early…”

Fushiguro shuffled his feet awkwardly, glancing to the side. He was muttering something about having to go, and Sukuna was still upset over what just happened, but he pulled himself together and turned to Uraume.

“Uraume, this is Fushiguro. You know, the florist I’ve been talking about.” He glared pointedly at them, hoping they would get the underlying hint.

The air was so tense right now Sukuna could slice it into half with a butter knife. But Uraume was always an observant one, and he felt relief wash over him when they returned Sukuna’s stare with a knowing look and then put on a polite smile to address the florist.

“It’s nice to finally meet you, Fushiguro. You may call me Uraume.”

The florist muttered a ‘hello’ back, and Sukuna frowned. Fushiguro looked really out of it, there was a very odd expression on his face, and if Sukuna had to hazard a guess, he’d say that the florist was one second away from bolting out of the restaurant. Uraume, on the other hand, is still doing their utmost best to smoothen things.

“You’re the one who made those bouquets. I really like your arrangements.”

Fushiguro’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion, and then his eyes widened as he seemed to have grasped what Uraume meant.

“Oh.” He muttered softly. “Yeah… I did.”

“They’re really good.” Uraume said earnestly. “Sukuna’s been getting them a lot recently, and I think the flowers really brighten up the place.”

The expression on Fushiguro’s face was getting extremely difficult to read, and Sukuna sighed. He cocked his head towards the kitchen. “Uraume, can you go check if we’re doing good on ingredients? You know the drill.” He gave his sous chef a meaningful glare to give him and Fushiguro some space. Uraume picked up the hint quickly and nodded before bidding Fushiguro good day as they left.

It was back to just the two of them, but Sukuna felt like the tension in the air hadn’t eased up one bit. Fushiguro still had that weird expression on his face, and he was looking elsewhere, seemingly lost in other thoughts. He was also gripping his elbows tightly, like he was feeling cold, and Sukuna was worried for a minute that perhaps he had set the air-conditioning a little too low.

He was about to ask if Fushiguro felt okay, but the florist beat him to it, his voice a little stilted as he spoke. “I should probably go, Sukuna. Thanks again for the meal.”

Sukuna froze, feeling the other man brush past him as he headed towards the exit without even looking at Sukuna. Then the door slammed again, softer this time, and Sukuna stood in silence, staring after Fushiguro long after the florist had disappeared, and reality flooded back to him like a tsunami.

He cried out in frustration as he strode towards the kitchen, hands running through his hair like he wanted to pull them out of their roots. Uraume looked at him in concern.

“I’m really sorry, Sukuna. I didn’t know you were both here, I got a little surprised and my hand slipped, and the door, it just-”

“I was this close!” Sukuna wailed.

Uraume blinked. “I’m sorry?”


Uraume sighed and started to pour him a drink. “I’m sorry.”

Sukuna howled in exasperation.

Things were definitely not going his way.

Sukuna’s distracted, he’d almost messed up a couple of orders at work (even Uraume chewed him out for it, and that’s saying something), and he may or may not have told the new hire off a little more aggressively than usual (the girl burst into tears and called herself useless, and Sukuna actually felt bad for once), so yes it’s safe to say that his mind is occupied with other things right now.

He cannot get Fushiguro Megumi out of his head. He could not stop thinking about how their little date on Friday afternoon had ended on that awkward note, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized he has no right to call it a date if he’s never really made his feelings clear to Fushiguro.

And the more he thought about it, the more he’s beginning to admit to himself that yes, he does want to go on a date with Fushiguro. A proper one this time.

It’s a little strange that he’s been so careful about his blooming relationship with the other man, because Sukuna’s never really cared this much about any of his previous flings. He’d start and end things solely based on his pleasure and displeasure, he’d never lost sleep over a break-up or jilted lover, he had never truly cared about anyone else before Fushiguro.

Yet if he examined his feelings for the florist over the past few weeks, truly searched his heart and left no stone unturned, most of his inner turmoil would come to the same conclusion. That he really does like Fushiguro Megumi, and would be open to, heck, would love to explore the possibility of a relationship with him. What started as an initial attraction has definitely blossomed into something more, and Sukuna can only hope that the florist felt the same way about him.

So it’s with a lot of confidence and courage, built up after a night of internally debating with his inner voice, that Sukuna set his plan into motion early Sunday morning. He’ll go over there with some chocolates (see, he can be romantic too), he’ll waltz right up and charm the socks off of his pretty, talented, florist (he definitely knows how to flirt), and then he’ll ask him out on the spot.

It’s all coming together, and Sukuna is one-hundred percent sure that finally, things will be going his way with Fushiguro Megumi.

There was a small nagging thought that Fushiguro may reject his advances, but Sukuna pushed it deep into the recesses of his mind. He really didn’t want to think about that, but he’s also considered that he has most likely been reading all the signs correctly. Enough to guess that Fushiguro is possibly also interested, and not just being cordial to him out of professionalism in his line of work.

Sukuna recalled all the moments Fushiguro had flashed that shy smile at him, teased him back with a snarky comment, blushed a beautiful shade of pink when he thought Sukuna wasn’t looking. His heart beat faster and he hastened his steps, eager to get to Blessing and execute his carefully planned confession.

There were more people on the street since it was a Sunday, but Sukuna didn’t mind the crowd as long as they didn’t get in his way of reaching the flower shop. He frowned a little at the thought, hoping that the florist wasn’t going to be too occupied with other customers by the time he arrived. He was so used to dropping by on an early weekday morning that he hadn’t paused to consider the fact that there may be another customer visiting the shop on a busier weekend. Sukuna doesn’t want a repeat of the Gojo Satoru incident.

Then he stopped, eyes widening in shock, his worst fears coming true as he noticed two figures standing inside Blessing even before he’s had the chance to walk inside.

He recognized Fushiguro, the familiar silhouette of the florist standing behind the counter, that same small smile on his face. But there was another person, an elegant-looking man with jet-black hair pulled into a neat bun and a charming smile on his face, leaning against the counter with an open box between them.

His heart sank as he watched the other man fished out a small truffle from the box and pushed the treat teasingly against Fushiguro’s lips. Sukuna watched Fushiguro pull away slightly with a mischievous smirk, and then parted his lips to accept the sweet gift, pouting slightly afterwards as the other man reached across to wipe the corner of his mouth gently with his thumb.

The other man was saying something, and then the florist was bursting into laughter. The smile on his face was different from the small, shy smile that Sukuna adored so much, the one that Sukuna would do anything for. It was stunning, it was breath-taking, and most of all…

Fushiguro looked so happy.

His world was shattering, blood was pounding in his ears, his chest was squeezing so tightly he could hardly breathe. Sukuna wanted to scream, wanted to throw his fist into a wall and feel his knuckles shatter, he wanted to grab something and tear it apart with his bare hands.

With Gojo Satoru, Fushiguro seemed close but there was always a slight hint of irritation which gave Sukuna hope that their relationship wasn’t romantic. But whoever this was, things were different. Fushiguro was comfortable with this man, he was happy and smiling so brightly, fuck, Sukuna had never seen him so carefree before and-

Sukuna turned, and ran.

He called in sick for the first time in his life.

He couldn’t remember how he got home. He doesn’t recall what happened to the box of chocolates under his arm. He doesn’t even know what time it is anymore and he really couldn’t care because nothing else mattered to him now that Fushiguro Megumi is seeing someone else.

How did he interpret all the signs so badly? Had he been deluding himself, reading too much into every single kindness the florist had shown him? How could he not have realized that there was already someone else in Fushiguro’s life, someone who made him so happy the same way Fushiguro brought Sukuna happiness?

How could he ever face Fushiguro from now on?

Sukuna rolled over and buried his face into the pillow. In the distance, he could hear his phone ringing, but chose to ignore it just like how he’s ignoring the way his heart is breaking into a million pieces.

He ended up coming in to work on Wednesday, and only because it was the end of the month and their team was slated to return to the main branch, so he went in to check on things and made sure they hadn’t left anything behind.

Not that there was anything he wanted to take with him anyways. The dried up flowers sat in their vases, and Sukuna just left them. The new team could deal with the decorations, and he didn’t think he could stand the sight of more flowers in case they reminded him of Fushiguro.

He hadn’t seen Fushiguro since, missing his Monday visit for the first time ever since their little routine had started. He wondered if the florist had missed him, but pushed that thought away almost immediately. He wasn’t going to delude himself further with false hope.

When he arrived back at the main branch of Fukuma Mizushi, Uraume was already there and they glanced up startled.

“Are you alright?”

Sukuna hesitated, and then brushed past Uraume to head into the kitchen, only muttering a single word.


‘But don’t ask me about it.’ went unspoken.

Uraume stood up and followed him. Sukuna really hoped his sous chef wouldn’t ask questions, but was reminded rather quickly that Uraume has never let him down in all the years they’ve known each other when all his sous chef did was take their place beside him and begin their dinner preparations quietly.

The silence was welcomed, and so was the company. They worked in tandem without further words exchanged, until Uraume paused and then spoke up in a small voice.

“Your florist came looking for you.”

Sukuna’s eyes widened slightly but he showed no other reaction otherwise, forcing himself to resume wiping off the plate in his hand. Seeing as there was no indication for them to stop, Uraume continued.

“He brought flowers for you. I told him you called in sick, and he passed them to me. Would you… like me to go get them for you?”

Sukuna set the plate down without a word and busied himself with the next one instead, ignoring the question completely. He could feel Uraume’s eyes on him, and then his sous chef sighed and left the kitchen. Sukuna was grateful for the reprieve, for he didn’t want to talk about it now. He wasn’t ready for any of this now.

And then he heard footsteps coming back, and a bouquet of startlingly red flowers was shoved into his face rudely. Sukuna snarled angrily but Uraume rolled their eyes and let go of the flowers before walking away, so he had no choice but to grab onto them to avoid the bouquet falling onto the kitchen floor.

The sight of the flowers already had him thinking of Fushiguro, and Sukuna’s heart ached as he stared at the bouquet in his hands. He reached out to touch one of the red carnations, and he can almost imagine Fushiguro’s delicate fingers wrapping these flowers patiently. Just the thought of it brought back memories that he’d much rather not think about right now and he had the sudden urge to chuck the bouquet into the trash so he wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

He hated the stupid flowers that were waving happily at him, their bright warm colours a stark contrast to the longing he felt in his heart. He missed Fushiguro so much, and he hated how he’s already harbouring hope that the florist had missed him too, by coming by to deliver flowers for him. He hated the way he wants to believe that there’s a deeper meaning to this, because he’s terrified he might be wanting too much or reading too much into one single bouquet of carnations and pansies.

Or was he? Sukuna closed his eyes as he thought back to their little interactions, of what he’d grown to learn and love about the quiet yet interesting florist over the weeks. He recalled the first time Fushiguro had mentioned the language of flowers, how he’d said he would always try to convey one’s feelings through a careful selection or arrangement. How attentive the florist was to the requests of his customers, and how he’d always, always took extra care to be specific with the flowers chosen. How he had smiled, that adorable shy smile, for the first time when he learned that he had successfully gotten Yuuji’s intentions across for Junpei’s bouquet.

Fushiguro had always strived to put meaning into his arrangements. Perhaps Sukuna had never tried to understand it.

His eyes flew open and he gasped inadvertently. The realization was earth-shattering, and Sukuna reached for his phone quickly to confirm his suspicions. It took him a few tries, but as he pulled up tab after tab of flower dictionaries and sites on floral symbolism, it became almost impossible to ignore the truth that had been sitting in front of him all this while.

Ranunculus, the very first bouquet he’d bought from Blessing, conveyed attraction. Fushiguro had already told him that. An attraction that he wished he had confessed back then, to tell the florist that he was utterly dazzled by his charms from the very first time they’d met.

Lisianthus symbolized appreciation and gratitude. Fushiguro had given him this the first time he’d bought him coffee the morning after the grand opening night. He had given Sukuna this multiple times after, but Sukuna had been horrible at recognizing flowers, and usually mistook them for roses instead.

Goldenrods were meant for encouragement and support, in times of difficulties. Sukuna wasn’t sure if the altercation with Gojo Satoru qualified as a difficult time, but perhaps Fushiguro wanted to tell him that he was on his side, that he would support him no matter what, that he would always reassure him, and cheer for him.

Tulips were as hard to figure out as roses, because apparently each colour meant something different. But Fushiguro always seemed to prefer orange ones, as if he wanted to express that he felt a deep connection with Sukuna, or that he understood him well. And Sukuna can safely say that he, too, has never felt so deeply connected to another person in his life before.

The list went on, and Sukuna couldn’t be sure that he remembered all the flowers (or identified them correctly) but now he knows enough to put his fears to rest. He looked at the bouquet of carnations and pansies lying beside him, now understanding why his heart ached and longed so much for the florist who had been painstakingly, awkwardly, quietly trying to convey all his feelings towards Sukuna without expecting the other to ever reciprocate.

He’s gotten the message. So what was he going to do about it?

All Sukuna wanted right now was for his shift to be over so he could go home and formulate a new plan, but fate didn’t want to give him a break, it seemed.

Because tonight was one of those nights that Gojo Satoru had decided to dine in.

The actor was one of the last people Sukuna wanted to encounter tonight, and he had no plans to change that, so Sukuna was about to keep his head down, do his job, and play nice if he hadn’t noticed the other person accompanying Gojo for dinner tonight.

His eyes grew round as he recognized the other man from Fushiguro’s shop, the elegant guy with long black hair and charming eyes. Instead of a bun, his hair was let down today with only one side pinned up, but Sukuna wouldn’t forget a face like that.

Fate is probably dicking around with him to have both of Fushiguro’s mystery men show up at his restaurant on the same night, sitting at the same table and joking around with each other.

But when life gives you lemons, you make fucking lemonade right? Besides, Sukuna couldn’t stand it any longer. He was going to get answers, and he was going to get them tonight, dammit.

“Do you know them?” Uraume asked as they peered out from the rounded window of the kitchen door. Their main branch didn’t have the open kitchen concept, which was how Sukuna had initially planned on keeping himself hidden but so much for best laid plans. “You look like they’ve personally offended you or something.” They glanced sideways at the head chef who was rolling up his sleeves furiously, as if the fabric had committed a dire sin requiring punishment.

“Right, I’m sorting this out once and for all.” Sukuna pushed open his side of the door and stormed towards the two diners. Uraume looked terrified, like they always did when they couldn’t tell if Sukuna was going to deliver a threat politely, or punch somebody’s lights out (They hoped fervently that it was not going to be the latter this time).

Sukuna walked straight to their table, and glared down at Gojo, who glanced back at him with a smirk.

“I don’t recall asking the waiter to give my compliments to the chef.”

“I don’t need your stinking compliments, I’m here to ask a question.” Sukuna folded his arms. “What relationship do the both of you have with Fushiguro Megumi?”

The black-haired man’s eyes widened, while Gojo’s narrowed.

“That’s none of your business, but it’s hilarious watching you run in circles trying to figure it out. I don’t know why you think you’d still stand a chance with Megumi, and trust me,” Gojo pulled down his shades and almost glared at Sukuna despite the mock-friendly smile on his handsome face. “I know a try-hard when I see one.”

The other man reached out and stroked Gojo’s fingers calmly. “Satoru, please.” He turned and smiled at Sukuna. “Apologies, but I feel like some context is needed here.”

A nerve twitched in Sukuna’s forehead as he tore his eyes away from Gojo’s stupid shades and switched to glaring at the black-haired man instead. “I keep seeing either one of you with Fushiguro and you guys look pretty cosy, but I can’t seem to put a finger on your relationship with him.” He took a deep breath. “In case I’m not making myself clear, I just want to know if either one of you is dating Fushiguro.”

The black-haired man’s eyes grew wide. And then his gaze softened a little as he asked, “Well then, why didn’t you just ask Megumi himself?”

Sukuna sighed. “I thought it might be too personal. But right now, I wish I did.” Really, it had been stupid of him not to. He looked back up and found the other man still watching him, so he continued. “Look, if Fushiguro is… happy with someone else, I don’t want to get in the way of his happiness. But recently I think we’ve had a misunderstanding of sorts, and I’d like to have a shot at clearing things up. I really don’t want to hurt his feelings.”

“Now I get it.” The black-haired man nodded in understanding. “Well, I can assure you, that although Megumi is an amazing kid with many redeeming qualities, neither of us are interested in him that way. He’s like a younger brother to me, and I’m sure Satoru here only has his best interests at heart. Even if he behaves like an idiot sometimes, he’s always looked out for Megumi.” Gojo made a small annoyed sound at that last statement, and the other man laughed as he playfully winked back at the actor.

“Besides, we’re both already taken. So no,” He glanced back at Sukuna with the same smile on his face. “Megumi isn’t seeing either of us, you can rest easy.”

“Suguru, please don’t encourage him. I’ve seen the way he looks at Megumi, it’s like he wants to eat him alive-”

“Satoru, sometimes you look at me that way too.”

“Babe, you can’t blame me. When you look as good as you do, sometimes I want to do more than just eat you up.”

Sukuna glanced between the both of them, and the realization hit him. He smacked his forehead and groaned loudly, causing both men to look up at him.

“Right. I fucked up.” He really needed to talk to Fushiguro. Sukuna turned to the black-haired man. “You, thank you.” He then glared at Gojo. “You were absolutely no help at all.”

“You’re welcome.” Both men replied, the black-haired one with a smile and Gojo with a smirk that Sukuna still wanted to wipe off his face with his fist. He sighed again and turned to walk back into the kitchen. “Enjoy your meal.”

Gojo stared after him, and the black-haired man nudged him gently underneath the table with his foot.

“Satoru, drop it. Let the kids sort out their own mess, alright? Besides... ” He smiled as he thought about something. “I have a feeling this is going to end well.”

Gojo pouted as he took a sip of his drink. “It better. If he so much as breaks Megumi’s heart, they’ll need to hire a new chef after I’m done burying him. Which would be a pity,” He added as an afterthought. “Because I actually do like the food here.”

It’s never easy to express your feelings, and if you weren’t on the same page, there’s always the risk of miscommunication.

Sukuna’s never been the best at feelings, admittedly. That had always been Yuuji’s domain; Sukuna was always the more abrasive of the two, and more than once had his brother yelled at him for being insensitive or uncaring. He’s well aware of that, he’s just never cared because he’s never needed to, at least not until now. Because now there’s someone he cared for, someone he wanted to express his feelings to, someone whose feelings he refuses to hurt any longer.

For Fushiguro Megumi, he’s willing to try.

It was still early in the day, and quiet. Just him, the bouquet held tightly behind his back, and the lovely florist who was standing inside Blessing, occupied with arranging a display on the counter.

Fushiguro had his back facing the door, but at the sound of the bell he turned and those emerald eyes widened as his gaze fell upon Sukuna. He looked stunned, as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“It’s you.” He muttered in a voice barely above a whisper.

Sukuna smiled at the sight of his favourite florist, his gaze never leaving the lovely green eyes he’d missed so dearly. “I got your flowers.”

The florist flushed a deep red and rubbed the back of his neck as he glanced aside. “You didn’t show up on Monday. I thought you might want your usual order, so I figured I’d drop it off in case you were busy or something. I didn’t know you’d called in sick, but your friend offered to-” He glanced back at Sukuna, brows furrowed with slight concern. “Are you feeling better now?”

“Much better. Besides, I got your message.”

Fushiguro frowned. “I didn’t tex-” He began, before the penny dropped and he realized what Sukuna was referring to. There was a small gasp, and then his green eyes widened further as he watched Sukuna pull out a large bouquet kept hidden behind his back.

“I also have a response.” Sukuna continued.

The florist remained frozen, eyes darting between the flowers in Sukuna’s hand and the man himself. Sukuna drew a deep breath to steady himself, and then he took a few more steps to close the distance between himself and Fushiguro.

“I have many things to say to you, and I probably should’ve said them sooner. But I’ve been an idiot, and this is me trying to set things straight, so bear with me a little, alright?” He said as he pushed the bouquet into the florist’s arms. Fushiguro’s hands closed around the wrapping, and he dropped his gaze to stare at the flowers in his embrace, his line of sight travelling across each blossom. There was a sharp inhale as he recognized each flower, and he glanced back up at Sukuna, a hopeful look in his eyes.

Sukuna reached for his hand and grasped the florist’s delicate fingers in his own, pulling them up to rest against one of the flowers in the bouquet. He smiled before asking, “May I begin?”

Fushiguro nodded, and Sukuna inhaled deeply before speaking, their intertwined fingers brushing lightly against a purple rose.

“Fushiguro Megumi, I’m enchanted by you. I fell for you the first time we met, and I’ve never stopped falling for you ever since.”

He tugged on the florist’s hand gently, moving towards the next flower, an orange rose that contrasted sharply with its purple neighbour.

“I’m fascinated by you. I admire the way you work, I love how passionate you are about your interests, I find every single thing you do interesting.”

They move on to a long and pointed flower next. “You’ve pierced my heart, and I am infatuated. There isn’t a day when I don’t think about you, Fushiguro, and you’re the only one I’ve ever felt this way before.”

Now they’re touching a red tulip, and he doesn’t miss how Fushiguro is blushing deeply. “I think I’m in love with you, Fushiguro Megumi. Perhaps I have been for a while now.”

There’s one more flower in the arrangement, a demure yellow-white blossom resembling a daffodil. “I desire you, truly. And I hope… No, I desire my affections returned.”

There are tears welling up in the florist’s eyes, and he was breathing heavily. Sukuna brought their hands back down to hold the bouquet together, and kept Fushiguro’s fingers clasped in his.

“So, I wanted to ask you a question. Fushiguro Megumi, will you go out with me?”

There’s a pause, but Sukuna waited, calmly, patiently. And then Fushiguro looked back at him, emerald eyes shining with tears, as he smiled and said, “Of course.”

It’s the moment he’s been waiting for, they’re the words he’s wanted Fushiguro to say, and Sukuna has never been happier. He shifted the bouquet to the side a little, and leaned in closer to place a chaste kiss on the florist’s cheek, but Fushiguro turned his head slightly and their lips met instead.

Sukuna smirked into the kiss; he loves the way Fushiguro always surprises him. He pressed deeper against his soft lips, one hand coming up to caress the back of Fushiguro’s neck and hold him into place so he could deepen the kiss. And Fushiguro just let him, and Sukuna doesn’t think it can get any more perfect than this.

They pulled away, panting heavily, and Fushiguro glanced furtively at Sukuna. “You know, usually people go on a date first. I think you’re getting the order all wrong.”

Sukuna chuckled, the sound rumbling deep in his chest. “Sweetheart, I think we’ve both gotten the order wrong for quite a while now. But if you’re that eager for a date, I’m sure something can be arranged. How’s you, me, and dinner tomorrow night sound?”

Fushiguro smiled. “That sounds lovely. Just… Maybe don’t get me flowers? I don’t mean to be rude, but this is a very ugly bouquet.”

“I know, I thought so too. I swear other florists just don’t know how to make a good arrangement the way you do.”

The florist sighed a little. “I’m not sure anyone can make a good bouquet with five different types of flowers of varying shapes and clashing colours.” His nose wrinkled slightly as he poked at a tulip in the bouquet.

Sukuna leaned in closer. “I feel like you can. Besides, as long as the meaning gets across, that’s what’s most important, isn’t it? It had to be these flowers, I wouldn’t have stood for anything else.”

Fushiguro rolled his eyes as he moved away to place the bouquet on the nearby counter. “I stand by my belief that you are one of the most demanding people I have ever had the misfortune to meet in my lifetime.”

Sukuna followed closely, and placed both his hands on the counter, effectively caging Fushiguro in as he smirked mischievously. “But you like it, don’t you?”

And he’ll insist that he still doesn’t like flowers. He’ll pretend he doesn’t know what a ranunculus is, or what a carnation symbolizes. He’ll say he doesn’t care. But when the florist reaches up to wrap his arms behind his neck, pulling him down to look deeply into his eyes and says “I do” without the slightest trace of hesitation, Sukuna knows then that for Fushiguro Megumi, and only for Fushiguro Megumi, he’s willing to make an exception.

Perhaps he already has.