It was late, and Wilardo knew that. He should be asleep, or at least trying to sleep. Unfortunately, he was hunched over his bathroom sink, coughing. Bloodstained petals fell from his lips and into the sink. Wilardo turned on the faucet, washing away the blood and the petals. He wiped his mouth, and soon there was no trace of the sickness plaguing him. Wilardo sat down at his table, looking at the flowers he and Claire had organized earlier that day.
"Wilardo? Can I come in?" A soft voice accompanied by unobtrusive knocking sounded at Wilardo's door. Wilardo called back an affirmative answer, and the red door opened to reveal Noel. "You're up quite late."
"So are you," Wilardo replied. Noel chuckled softly.
"Yes, I suppose I am." Noel moved across the room to the table. He sat next to Wilardo. "Are you making a bouquet?" Wilardo glanced down at the flowers he had been working with. Several amaryllises, asters, and irises lay bunched together. Wilardo had just been reaching for the purple violets when Noel came in.
"Yeah," Wilardo finally responded. He had been making a bouquet for Noel, briefly imagining a world where he might actually confess his feelings.
"Those flowers look really pretty together," Noel commented. Wilardo glanced at the boy. Noel's eyes were softened by his warm smile, and Wilardo quickly turned away, coughing once. A violet petal was crumpled in his hand as he turned back.
"...You think so?" Wilardo said, against his better judgment. Noel smiled brightly, closing his eyes as he nodded. Wilardo felt pink rise to his cheeks. Luckily it was gone by the time Noel opened his eyes.
"I'd like to see it when you're done, if I can." Wilardo held back a cough. The irony was building pressure in his lungs. Not wanting to risk speaking, he merely nodded. "Well, I'll see you later!" With a wave and another beautiful smile, Noel left Wilardo's room.
The next day went surprisingly uneventfully for Wilardo. He accidentally slept in past breakfast, which earned him a visit from Claire. Having anyone in his room was worrying, as it had the potential to end with them finding out, but Wilardo hadn't coughed up bloody petals all day.
"Okay, well I'm glad you're all right!" Claire said, turning to leave the room when something caught her eye. "Ah, Wilardo, there's a petal on the floor!" Wilardo was about to thank Claire for picking it up when she gasped. "Oh my god! There's blood on it!"
"Claire-" Wilardo began, excuses already running through his head.
"Who is it?" Claire interrupted. "Why didn't you tell anyone?"
"Claire," Wilardo said, more forcefully. "I... I actually don't think you have to worry." Claire looked at him, confused, but obviously not buying it. "The symptoms are fading." Wilardo regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth as Claire's face turned from cynical to ecstatic.
"He must like you back!" Claire said. "Tell me who it is! That bouquet is for him, right? Come on let's take it to him right now!" Wilardo gave Claire an unimpressed look. "Okay, sorry, if you don't want me poking around I'll stop, but really I think you should tell him! Whoever it is must like you back!"
Wilardo took a deep breath before speaking, looking off to the side. "Noel." Claire practically squealed, but quickly composed herself when Wilardo shot her a glare. "You really think I should..."
"Yeah yeah! We'll have to wait until tonight, though." Claire grinned. "You have to tell me how it goes."
Wilardo still didn't know how he had ended up in front of Noel's door with the completed bouquet and Claire just around the corner, grinning absurdly at him and giving him the constant thumbs-up. Wilardo tried to calm his nerves and knocked. Noel opened the door almost instantly, as if he had been planning to go out.
"Oh, hello Wilardo!" Noel said, smiling comfortingly at Wilardo. When Wilardo didn't speak, Noel glanced down at the bouquet in his hands. "So you finished it! It's very pretty." Wilardo held it out towards Noel.
"It's for you," he managed to say. Noel's eyes widened.
"For... me?" Noel spoke softly as he took the bouquet, then broke into a radiant smile. "Thank you, Wilardo." Was Noel... blushing? While Noel was looking at the flowers, Wilardo glanced back at Claire, who was making rapid and wild gestures that Wilardo couldn't decipher. He'd just have to work up his courage.
"Noel will you be my boyfriend?" That might have been the fastest and quietest Wilardo had ever spoken, but from Noel's red face and shocked expression, he had clearly heard.
"Y-your-" Noel stammered, even his ears pink now. He was way too cute for his own good. Suddenly finding his courage, Wilardo spoke.
"Is that a yes?"
Noel, blushing furiously, hid his face behind the bouquet. "...yes."
"YOU GO, WILARDO!" Claire yelled, causing both Noel and Wilardo to jump about ten feet in the air. Wilardo chuckled, and Noel smiled, peeking out from over the top of the bouquet. After congratulating the two very loudly, Claire finally retreated to her own room. Noel fidgeted awkwardly, then invited Wilardo into his room.
"Th-thanks for the bouquet," Noel said, not quite meeting Wilardo's eyes. Wilardo smiled ever so slightly.
"I wasn't going to give it to you, originally," Wilardo said, speaking without thinking. Noel looked up, confused. "I, uh, you know... hanahaki?" Noel's eyebrows rose in alarm.
"You got hanahaki over me?" The alarm left Noel's face, replaced with an unmistakable look of guilt. "I'm sor-"
"It all worked out in the end." Wilardo wasn't going to let his boyfriend of two minutes be sad already. With the awkwardness of new intimacy, Wilardo wrapped his arms around Noel's shoulders, pulling the other boy in close. "You don't have anything to feel guilty about. I'm fine, and you're fine, and we're together." Wilardo pulled back slightly so he could see Noel's face. "Right?"
Tears squeezed from the corners of Noel's eyes, but he was smiling. "Yeah." Noel let the bouquet fall to the floor but before Wilardo could question or object Noel's hand were on either side of his face and Noel's mouth was on his. Wilardo's split second of alarm faded quickly as he responded, his hands moving to encircle Noel's waist.
When they broke apart, both of their faces were flushed and their breaths came out in soft gasps. Then, Noel's door swung inward and three people collapsed face-first into the room.
"Oh, uh, sorry!" Ashe was the first to stand, brushing off his clothes as if it was perfectly natural for him to be here. Sirius stood next, grumbling under his breath the whole time.
"Claire." Wilardo's voice held untold threats. The blue haired girl laughed nervously as she rose from the floor. She glanced from Noel, to Wilardo, to Noel. Finally, she hung her head.
"S-sorry, we'll be going now." Ashe seemed to want to protest but Claire quickly ushered him and Sirius out of the room, making sure to close the door behind them.
Wilardo sighed, turning towards Noel. "Sorry about that." Noel, however, didn't look embarrassed or upset. He grinned at Wilardo.
"Well, if our friends are spying on us, I guess we're an official couple." Wilardo blushed as Noel took his hand and rested his head on Wilardo's shoulder. Then Wilardo smiled.
"I guess we are."