Something that Yoongi learned at an early age was that, more often than not, people underestimate how hard working at a flower shop actually is.
“Can’t you like, just throw some flowers together?” The beta girl asked, her voice high and annoyed. Yoongi felt his eye twitch. She had long dark hair and a few freckles dusting her nose and cheeks, she was cute, but the way she cocked her hips with her arms crossed and talked with the most uninterested tone made Yoongi want to shove the roses he was working on down her throat. The overpowering scent of flowers and plants masked his own scent really well, so she probably didn’t know he was an alpha. He felt his shoulders tensing up instinctively, the hair on his neck standing up.
“Do you want it to look good?” He replied instead, finishing the bow with maybe a bit more force than intended, cursing under his breath when the ribbon slid across his thumb making a small cut. Again. That was probably the tenth time that morning and Yoongi already had dozens of tiny cuts all over his hands, but with Valentine’s day right around the corner the shop was busier than ever, he could not allow himself to slow down with the amount of shit he needed to put together. An extra shipment of lilies and a few other less requested flowers came in that morning, and a few more roses were supposed to arrive in the afternoon if Taehyung hadn’t fucked up the order again - god knows how absent minded he is when there’s too much happening at the same time, and to be honest too much was an euphemism when talking about commemorative dates in a flower shop – the whole store was a chaos. He put the roses aside and turned around to get the carnations and started working on the next bouquet. Thank god Taehyung had already previously separated and sorted out the flowers, bless him and his hard work, without him Yoongi’s head would probably explode.
“Yeah, duh.” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, rolling her eyes, and Yoongi fought against the urge to square up his jaw, a low rumble brewing in the back of his throat. He could hear Taehyung in the back getting some more flowers, a few clients would come today to pick up vases and arrangements they had already ordered, but there still were a few customers inside the shop walking and talking amongst them if they had company, or just mumbling quietly to themselves if they had not. He focused on the calm white noise until the urge to snap at the beta receded, eyes on the ugly carnations. Yoongi hated carnations, they were just ugly flowers and reminded him of funerals and old people, besides the fact that they looked like crumpled crepe paper. Honestly, Yoongi didn’t have time nor patience to attend everyone, finish all the orders and deal with a fucking teenager telling him to just throw some flowers together while looking at him like he was stupid, he was not paid enough for this, and the fake smile he kept on his face through the whole week was taking a toll on him.
“Then no, I cannot just throw some flowers together ,” he answered finally, in a condescending tone with ice coating the syllables, and his hands reached out to get the small card that was supposed to be tied to the ribbon around the flowers, leaving it next to the floral tape. The beta’s dominant posture was making him uneasy, she was a client, he should be nice to clients, despite how obnoxious or just outright rude and disrespectful they were.
“Yoongi-ssi.” A voice piped up at his right as Yoongi finally finished up the carnations bouquet for Mrs. Lee. Hers was probably the easiest and least stressful bouquet he was going to do that day. Mrs. Lee was an old lady who always took flowers to her husband’s grave on their wedding anniversary and on Valentine’s, she was probably one of the only clients Yoongi didn’t hate on Valentine’s week. Everyone else was almost always rude and cranky and not actually happy to be buying flowers to their ‘loved ones’, while she was always polite and understanding. “Seokjin-ssi just arrived with the extra flowers, he asked me to come here and get you, just to check if everything is okay and the order is correct.”
“Sure Jeongguk-ah, I’ll be right there.” Yoongi replied with a sigh and then Jeongguk was nowhere to be seen again, went as fast as he came. Jeongguk always seemed on edge when he needed to ask Yoongi for anything, it was frustrating and made Yoongi a little sad. Honestly he had nothing to be afraid of, but still, every single time he had his chin tilted and his voice soft, posture the complete opposite of the beta. “Look, if you want you can choose one of the pre made bouquets, or you can wait a few hours. That’s the best we can do in such short notice.” He turned to the girl again, and then asked Taehyung to cover him while he went to the back.
Yoongi loved the flowers, but the extra pollen he’s been inhaling for the past few days was starting to make his nose itch. The roses filling the store to the brim actually didn’t have much scent at all – growers usually breeding for longer stems and a lengthy vase life instead of stronger perfume – but some other flowers still were as fragrant as ever, mainly the peonies and stock, which along with the dirt and all the greenery they kept mostly in the back instead of displaying in the front of made the whole place smell a lot like nature. It smelled like home to him. Like his grandma taking him to a walk around the jungle she called a backyard back in his hometown. In the city that amount of plants and life was hard to come by, but the flower shop was good enough for him.
He still kinda missed the scent of roses a lot though.
“Okay. I have good and bad news.” Seokjin said as soon as Yoongi arrived, slamming the door of the van shut and going around the vehicle to get to the trunk where the flowers were stored.
“Fuck, gimme the good one first.” He rubbed his face, the skin around his eyes getting reddened because of the roughness of his fingers, calloused to hell and back after too many years of handling all kinds of plants and twigs, wrapping stems in wire and arrangements in cellophane. No florist kept their hands soft and smooth for long.
“Okay, Sejin did have enough roses to fill your order.”
“But most of them were yellow.”
Yoongi paused. “Yellow.”
It could be a question if Yoongi wasn’t so sure he heard it right in the first time.
“Why of all flowers, of all types of roses you brought me yellow ones?” He groaned, staring inside the back of the van at all the yellow roses.
“It was those or already half withered long stem red ones.” Seokjin shrugged with his stupid broad shoulders, lips pursed in a way that almost could be apologetic if Yoongi didn’t knew he probably wanted to get rid of those as soon as possible.
“You’re not my favorite person right now.” A groan escaping his lips when he thought about how great the sells were going, and how fucked he would be if he didn’t have enough red roses by the big day.
“I’m never your favorite person.” Seokjin deadpanned in return, starting to lifting the boxes from the trunk, leaving them against the brick wall of the alley. Well, at least those broad shoulders were useful for something.
“ Touché ”
“You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for Yoongichi, if someone in this whole city can sell yellow flowers is you.” He dropped one of the boxes to pat Yoongi in the shoulder, the motion almost comforting.
“People hate yellow flowers.”
“I know.” He went back to unload the boxes and Yoongi decided it was best to help instead of just keep sulking in the corner, at least that way he was a bit useful.
“I don’t even know why!” He whined, feeling like a child obligated to eat their vegetables. He tried to sell yellow flowers, the problem was not even with the roses, but for some goddamn reason everyone seemed to hate them. Every time he offered any type of anything yellow the client would immediately frown, but oooooh those ugly ass carnations? Those he could sell. So much for good taste honestly. “But hey, if you can bring me those long stem roses, do. I think I can do something with them.”
“That’s the stubborn alpha I know” Seokjin cooed and Yoongi scoffed in return, if he didn’t knew Seokjin since they were both just pups he would probably feel the stupid need to growl and assert his dominance, like he felt with the annoying beta girl, but really they both were well aware that between just them Yoongi's rank didn’t mean shit. “Now, I need to get going. See ya!”
“See ya.” He mumbled after Seokjin got back in the van, sighing before starting to take the boxes inside, trying to think what the fuck he could do to sell those yellow roses.
“Hyung!” Taehyung came in barreling through the backdoor, air wheezing out of his lungs and hair in disarray, a weird smell clinging to him, sharp, almost sour but overpoweringly bitter. “There’s an alpha at the store and he is pissed”
Of course it was a fucking alpha.
Yoongi didn’t even had time to properly put down the flowers and just ran to the front where a very big, androgynous looking, female alpha was yelling and practically caging Jeongguk against a wall with her oppressive posture and scent. Yoongi saw red immediately.
“Back. Off.” He growled nearing both of them, fear coming out of Jeongguk in waves. “I’m the owner, if you have a fucking problem you should come to me instead of intimidating my employers.”
The alpha did not back off. She actually seemed to puff out her chest even more, trying to look bigger and more intimidating, dark eyes still fixated on Jeongguk's form. She probably was the same height as him, but with that fucking smell and attitude she seemed to tower over the omega. “I was just being nice,” she growled back short bangs fanning across her forehead, “sweet cheeks over here refused to give me a discount even though I asked very politely, six thousand won for a single rose seems a bit much don’t you think? So I was just trying to be a little more persuasive .” The alpha took another step closer to Jeongguk who seemed ready to just become one with the goddamn wall and that was the last straw.
Yoongi pushed her away getting in the middle, his hands slightly shaking with the adrenaline flooding his bloodstream. “We do not give discounts unless stated, now get the fuck out of my flower shop before I make you.” The other alpha was taller, but Yoongi was pissed . “Get. Out.”
Yoongi took a step forward and she took a step back, flaming red hair framing her piercing eyes. Her chemistry was good, Yoongi could sense it, she was a good alpha, but a shitty human being if that was the way she acted towards others.
She seemed to consider the threat for a few seconds. And while Yoongi might not be that big, he knew his broad shoulders made clear that his alpha biology was as good if not better than hers. “Wasn’t worth it anyway.” She sneered before turning around and shoving a shelf to the ground, small pots shattering against the wood floor, succulents and other small house plants flying in every direction along with ceramic shards.
If Yoongi was pissed before, now he saw red, he had half a mind to not chase after her and rub her face against the concrete of the sidewalk. She came to his flower shop, bullied his employees, and messed up his plants.
“Hyung.” Taehyung's voice breaking his line of thought, Yoongi could feel how short his breath was. “Are you okay?” Taehyung’s warm hand on his shoulder made him realize how badly he was also shaking, the little dominance match making his hormones go all over the place.
“Yeah.” He spat through his teeth. “I just need some air. Please, can you and Jeongguk clean this mess?”
“Sure hyung.” He said, eyes clearly concerned, the eyebrows pinched just the slightest bit on his forehead. Taehyung worried too much, Yoongi was okay, he just needed a bit of time to cool down. And maybe punch a wall.
His little confrontation with the alpha caused almost all of the clients to flee the store as soon as the opportunity presented itself, and that meant those precious Valentine’s Day sells went with them. Owning a flower shop meant Yoongi had to really milk those commemorative dates to make up for the slow months. Just thinking about how many sells he lost today because of that started to give Yoongi a headache.
Also the store probably smelled more like angry alphas than flowers now, which, you know, was also fucking great .
Some days were better than others, but really.
Fuck Valentine’s Day.
When Yoongi got home after closing the store and feeling sore to hell and back from carrying boxes of plants, and trying to remove that ugly scent from his shop. Besides also staying hours on his feet doing arrangements and preparing flowers. In the end he didn’t have a single moment to just stop and rest and now he just wanted to fill his rumbling stomach, and then catch some sleep after this hell of a day.
So the moment he opened the front door and smelled his grandma’s cooking he almost spilled tears of joy.
“What the hell are you doing here grandma?” Yoongi's face split into a smile, his mouth already watering just from the aroma of the broth and all that amazing seasonings the old lady used when cooking. “You were supposed to be still in Daegu with ma and pa.”
“I come here to make a surprise to my favorite grandson, all the way from Daegu, and this is the warm welcome I receive?” She raised an eyebrow and Yoongi had almost forgotten how much he missed her. “Good to know.”
“I’m your only grandson, of course I’m you favorite you annoying old lady.” He bit back and she threatened to swat him with the wooden spoon.
“Don’t think just because I’m old and a omega I won’t hit you, you punk.”
“Oh, I know you will.” He laughed and stole a carrot dodging almost in time to avoid being hit by the spoon. Almost. “Okay! Okay! I’m leaving!” He threw his hands up surrendering.
“Come back here, at least give me a hug first, punk.” She chastised, and he felt a small smile stretching on his face. He missed her antics so much.
“Of course, grandma.” He answered before enveloping the tiny wrinkly omega in a warm hug. His grandma smelled of all sorts of spices and fabric softener, there was also that bit underneath that made him think of crocheting yarn but knew it was just grandma. It was nice, familiar. “I love you. And your food, please feed me I’m starving.”
“Oh, get the hell out of my kitchen you prick, go wash your hands and set the table.”
“Technically it’s my kitchen.” He stated in a matter of fact tone already running out of the room as fast as possible, his laugh echoing as his grandma’s screams followed him.
“Min Yoongi do not make me hit you again!”
Later, when both of them were at the small table tucked in a corner of Yoongi's apartment with steaming bowls between, he thought that maybe, despite everything, today wasn’t such a bad day.
“How are you, sugar?” His grandma asked when they finally started eating, flavor blooming in their tongues from all the spices she used in the broth. “You seem tired.” She sighed raising her eyebrows, “Well, more than usual, God knows you don’t take good care of yourself.”
“I’m fine grandma.” he huffed a laugh, she worried too much about him, in a way Yoongi was used to it, but also it always felt a bit odd to be taken care of when he should be the one doing it. “Today was just really stressful, Valentine’s coming and all, but I’m doing good.” He took a deep breath. Things were going well, they really were, the shop was finally starting to pay off and Yoongi didn’t have much debt left. But living in Seoul was expansive and he missed home a lot, so he wished he could earn just a bit more with the shop to be able to pay his parents and his grandma more visits. “There was an alpha causing trouble on the shop today, bullied one of my employees and broke a bunch of vases.”
The memory left a bitter taste in his mouth, all his hard work to grow those tiny plants gone in a single move. Yoongi usually bought the flowers from a supplier, but the tiny succulents and cactuses were mostly his, he grew and took care of them until they were ready to be sold. It probably was his favorite part of owning the shop, it always felt therapeutic to just water and talk to them while the hours of early morning dragged lazily until opening time.
“These alphas,” She snorted taking a sip of water, disdain clear in her voice. “Always causing trouble and thinking they can do whatever they want.” Yoongi’s grandma let out another snort before shoving some of the rice on her mouth, chewing with a disapproving frown on her wrinkly forehead. “At least I know I raised you better than that, sugar.”
“Yeah,” he scoffed, “but you know how bad my rage fits used to be,” he contradicted in a matter of fact tone. “I broke a bunch of stuff when I got pissed.” Yoongi actually still was a bit wary whenever anger started boiling in his gut, afraid it would get the best of him and he would actually end up breaking something or, worse, hurting someone. He’s glad he’s better now at handling all the adrenaline and anger that comes with presenting as an alpha, but sometimes – a lot of times – the lack of control scared him, and he didn’t want to be seen as another douchebag alpha, like the one who threw all those plants in the ground just because. He wanted to be better than that.
“But you were young.” She pauses. “And stupid.”
“Ouch, thanks, grandma,” he returned the jab with irony and a dramatic expression, a hand hovering over his heart and a fake frown in his face. He could almost stop the little twitch on the corner of his mouth.
“You know I’m right, shush.” She slapped his arm harder than you would expect of someone her age, laughing at his fake hurt expression. “You’re a better alpha now.” She continues and chews another bite.
Despise the slight irony when she called him stupid, Yoongi knew there was wisdom behind her words, he knew he grew up to be a better alpha, but still. It’s hard to not just allow himself to be pissed when he’s pissed or to feel entitled when someone shows him submission. But he just shrugged off, now was really not the time to dwell on things that really were mostly out of control.
“Now, how’s the shop, besides that nasty incident?”
“Going,” he sighed, “we might not make enough this Valentine’s day to cover the slow months though.” He took another bite before continuing, “Sejin apparently miscalculated the amount of roses this year, and we’re short on about two hundred red roses, got a bunch of yellow ones though.”
“Then sell those instead.” She said as if it was as simple as that. Yoongi loved her, but she had no experience actually selling flowers, even though she still grew a bunch on her backyard the last time he went to visit.
“Oh, sure, because people sure love giving yellow flowers instead of red ones on Valentine’s, why haven’t I thought about that?” Yoongi deadpanned in response. “People don’t like yellow flowers grandma, mainly on Valentine’s day.”
“Then make some flower crowns and sell as couple Valentine’s accessories.” She answered in a uninterested tone as her attention came back to the now cooling food. “You could throw some other flowers besides the yellow roses and it’ll look great.”
Yoongi’s grandma didn’t have much experience selling flowers, but she was good enough at being creative. Yoongi probably wouldn’t have thought about turning the flowers into crowns, but hell if that wasn’t a great idea, he could maybe make some promotion along the lines of gifting your friends if you were single this year, it had a lot of potential.
“I have just one problem.” His grandma peered over the bowl at that. “I have no idea how to make those.” He shrugged eating a bit more, food almost gone by now. He could maybe ask Taehyung if he knew how to make those, he seemed the type to know this kind of stuff.
“There’s this awesome thing called Pinterest, sugar, you should try it out.” The sarcasm wasn’t lost on him.
“Oh my god.” He groaned hitting his head on the table. “I’ll never get out of this alive.” He could already see all the amount of cuts he would have on his hands by the end of that catastrophe.
“None of this nonsense, if you can arrange a bouquet you can do a flower crown.” She gave a comforting tap on his shoulders before getting up. “Now go fetch me a mattress and I’ll take this to the sink.”
Pinterest tutorials were, in a nutshell, way easier said than done.
The next morning, after kissing his grandma goodbye and sending her off with a promise of finally paying her a visiting the next weekend, he got to the store about an hour earlier than usual to try and figure out how the fuck was he supposed to craft a flower crown. He sad down on the floor with crossed legs, his battered old notebook, flower tape, scissors, wire, about twenty yellow roses and some green to put in the middle lying in front of him, and Pinterest's first page staring back at him.
“Oh god what am I doing with myself.” He murmured while searching for flower crowns and getting a bunch of pictures who didn’t look much like tutorials mixed in with some actual tutorials. “Oh, these are actually nice…” He muttered to himself clicking on one of the pictures where a long haired western girl stood in front of a plain background with a huge colorful garland that seemed to be threaded onto her hair, blond locks slightly curled in waves.
It all actually looked prettier and much more complicated than Yoongi had anticipated.
Yoongi thought he would just have to braid some of the yellow roses with some wire and flower tape and he would be good to go, but these were beautiful, intricate, and diversified. The crowns had texture, different elements and Yoongi got up to get more flowers tom complement the yellow roses. He needed a better battle plan.
Yoongi rearranged all his tools and then tried following the first tutorial, which seemed simple enough, Measure wire, cut wire, mold wire, wrap flowers around wire. All in all it looked like a circle bouquet. Just, you know, a bouquet that does not stays in place. As soon as Yoongi started to wrap a second flower the first ones slipped out of place or simply fell from the garland altogether. It was stressing and he knew he was doing very little progress.
The greenery in general was easier to handle, and he wasn’t as scared to bend them, but roses were way more delicate, and with each petal that fell to the ground Yoongi felt like crying a few times. Nothing stood in place and when he heard Jeongguk opening the front door of the shop he was elbows deep in fallen leaves and flowers missing a few more petals then what he expected.
“Yoongi-ssi?” Was the first thing Jeongguk said when he took in Yoongi disheveled appearance and the mess on the floor. “What are you doing?”
Yoongi looked around and asked himself the same question. “Flower crowns, theoretically,” was what he answered instead, fiddling with the wire hoop in his hands, some baby’s breath and the single yellow rose he shoved under the flower tape hanging precariously, “think you might be able to help me?”
“Oh,” Jeongguk’s eyes went slightly wider and he fumbled with his bag for a second before dropping it on the counter, “sure Yoongi-ssi, no problem.” He completed right as he sat down, crossing his legs just like Yoongi to get closer to the materials.
Jeongguk then took the circle catastrophe with a tiny frown forming between his eyebrows. “Yoongi-ssi… what have you done to this poor flowers?” He asked turning the uncompleted crown in his hands. Jeongguk had pretty hands, and they looked soft under the incandescent lights from the back room, though Yoongi could see some calluses forming on the pads of his fingers.
“I just followed the tutorial! I swear!” He lifted his hands in a surrendering gesture and Jeongguk scoffed. It was a simple thing, but around Yoongi, Jeongguk seldom let his guard down, and it was nice seeing him with something other than a carefully neutral expression on his face. “How are you so good at this?”
Jeongguk skillfully unwrapped the flowers and took the crown apart and rearranged it in a way that was starting to look a lot like the picture. “My cousin,” he simply replied, slowly adding more flowers and greenery, “Yeri and I were really close when we were younger. My grandpa had a beach house in Busan, and the path from the house to the nearest beach went through this small dirt road filled with wildflowers.” Jeongguk’s voice while telling the story went soft, eyes still on the flowers, Yoongi has never seem so relaxed in his presence, and that was good, it seemed like he was finally warming up to him.
“We used to get a bunch of those and take back to the house and do all types of stuff with them, like boil them to make ‘tea’” he dropped one of the sides of the garland on his lap so he could make air quotes, “we never actually drank it, mostly because we thought maybe drinking that could poison us,” he went on with a laugh, both hands back on the flowers and the wire, “but we also made a bunch of flower crowns.” Jeongguk finished turning to face Yoongi, a tiny smile on his face wrinkling the corner of his eyes and a flower crown on his hands that was much, much better than Yoongi’s failed attempts.
“The thing we did the most was pretend we were spies in a secret mission on a deserted island, and the flower crowns protected us from poisonous gas,” he got another piece of wire, beginning another crown, “we did it mostly because Yeri thought they were cute and I always indulged her, also it was fun, so I never minded.”
Listening to Jeongguk was nice, he had a slightly gravelly voice that was easy to hear and didn’t seem to need much prompting from Yoongi once he started talking, but after Jeongguk helped him do the second crown and they put both on an improvised display on the counter, the shop had to be opened. While Jeongguk unlocked the door Yoongi begun to swipe away some of the fallen leaves with a broom, feeling a bit warmer after the conversation with the younger omega.
“Oh, look,” Jeongguk turned around and slightly away from the door, “I think they’re opening a new shop across the street.”
Yoongi got a little closer to the front, eyeing the sign on the other side of the street, his lips pursing immediately as he inspected it a little closer, nose almost touching the glass window separating them from the outside, “I think it’s a tattoo parlor.”
“Cool,” Jeongguk almost whispered and the only thing Yoongi thought was no . Not cool. Tattoo parlors usually meant obnoxious alphas coming to the neighborhood more often and causing trouble around, the last thing he wanted was more alphas getting near his shop.
“Yeah, cool. ” Yoongi wondered briefly if Jeongguk had noticed the sarcasm in his voice, before turning around and going back to the register, booting up the system and getting everything ready for when the clients started to enter the shop.