It's not what normally comes to mind when you think of the term flower shop. There are flowers, of course both those still alive and pristine, freshly cut and in beautiful full bloom. But there are also those that have been dried, preserved against the ravages of time through hanging and being pressed, perfect for potpourri, crafts, and the occasional concoctions .
And then there are the oils and extracts, still as sweet and fresh as the day they'd been bottled, but that’s neither here nor there.
As an employee of the city's one and only Elf Bolt, a magic and non-magic shop catering to both the mundane and the magical, Hyungwon is familiar with all of these uses, and more. He's a faery, after all. It's his job.
And his job is very, very boring.
With the shop swept and tidied, the books fronted, fresh flowers waters and rotated, and the shelves careful stocked, Hyungwon has run out of things to do that actually need done. The list of daily duties is often short as it is, considering the very nature of the shop is that of a magic that can’t always be relied upon to be put onto any sort of schedule, but on a Wednesday in the middle of a winter that is neither too hot nor too cold, with enough sunshine and passable amounts of precipitation, and all of the major holidays over with for the next week, Elf Bolt has seen precious few customers from either side of the spectrum.
It’s a pity. And it’s boring. So it’s understandable, how Hyungwon something more to do to pass the time. Something. Anything. As long as he doesn’t have to count when it’s not his day, he’s happy.
Hyungwon is midway through the tedious task of organizing the tiny sterling silver bracelet and pendant charms when the door at the front of the shop opens, an airy tinkling of bells spilling into the shop to announce the arrival. It should attract Hyungwon’s attention, but it doesn’t. He knows who it is even though they’re still wandering the store.
“Go home,” Hyungwon says without missing a beat, not even bothering to look away from his current task. “There is nothing to do and I have no need of you here distracting me.”
“Because what you’re doing is so important,” a voice quips from the other side of a display of tiny jars. From the tiny clinks of glass on glass, Hyungwon imagines they’re examining the contents. “Really, it’s god’s work you’re doing. So important. When did we get these in?”
“Yesterday morning.” Hyungwon finally looks up then, a love charm in the shape of a very real, anatomically-correct heart, dangling from his fingertip. “Sand and soil from countries all around the world. Great for grounding spells, teleportation spells, and even the occasional summoning spell. Boss said you can also use them for other things, but…” Hyungwon waves his free hand, making a noncommittal noise.
A head peeks around the edge of the display, lavender hair tousled and wind-swept. Beneath his bangs, matching lilac eyes, bright with amusement and the glimmer of innate magic, peer out at Hyungwon. “That could be fun. I could use some of it to summon….oh, I don’t know, Changkyun, into our shop?”
Hyungwon stiffens, staring moodily at the male, before his attention shifts back to the charm that dangles in the air. A flick of his wrist has it spinning ever so slightly, first one way, the back the other. “I cannot begin to imagine why you would want to summon Changkyun into our shop, Yoonho.
Yoonho grins, wide and impish. “I can always tell when you’re getting worked up and defensive.” In the pause that follows, Hyungwon grunts to show he’s listening, even if he’s not really following along. “You start talking like a faery, and you get all picky with your words.”
Hyungwon glances up, eyes narrowing. “Why summon Changkyun here when you could summon Chunghyeop instead?” There’s something odd on Hyungwon’s voice, something dark and feral, and Yoonho’s smile falters for an instant before returning. “You talk about coming out of the closet to him,” Yoonho interrupts Hyungwon’s murmur of consideration with a splutter, but Hyungwon continues as if he hadn’t heard, voice rising in volume. “Summoning the human boy you like to your non-mundane place of work would be one way of coming out.”
“That is not the same, and you know it!”
Hyungwon’s eyes snap up, pale purple eyes meeting bright blue. Then Hyungwon glances away, a satisfied smile curling cat-like lips. “No,” he demures, “I suppose not.”
Yoonho watches Hyungwon from the opposite side of the jas display before venturing closer, something akin to suspicion on his features. “I don’t know what you’re thinking, but stop thinking it.”
Hyungwon’s eyes, previously focused on the charm he holds, lift to meet Yoonho’s. After a moment more, a coy smile begins to take shape. “Why? Nothing I think would be of harm to you, dearest Yoonho.”
Yoonho’s eyes narrow. “I’m going to tell Changkyun you’re flirting with me.”
“He would not believe you,” he responds without missing a beat, smile widening. “Find your own human to harass. Perhaps your roommate would be willing.”
That’s what pushes Yoonho over the proverbial edge.
“We are not bringing Chunghyeop into this!” But by the way Yoonho flushes, the color staining his cheeks down his neck and to the tips of both ears, Hyungwon imagines that Yoonho desperately wants to bring Chunghyeop into it. It’s hard to hide what you are from someone that you like. Hyungwon knows the pain all too well.
Hyungwon hums thoughtfully, setting the love charm with the others, shifting through the remaining cluster of charms he has yet to organize, searching for one in particular. “Perhaps you would do well with some luck,” he suggests a moment later when, with a low noise of triumph, he holds up a new charm. This one is commonplace enough that even Yoonho recognizes it, even if he doesn’t quite trust it.“Clovers are considered lucky around the world,” Hyungwon recites, as if from a textbook, twirling the charm idly. As it spins, the metal catches the light and shines true. “The four sides represent faith, hope, love, and luck, all of which you will need if you hope to make Chunghyeop understand and stay.”
Yoonho continues to watch for another long moment before he sighs and reaches into his pocket. “Fine. You’re right. I could use the luck. And the hope, and faith.”
“And love,” Hyungwon says with a smile that’s less cheeky and almost sincere. “You could use that, too. You deserve it.”
Hyungwon sets the charm to the side, lips pursing as he gathers the others and places them back on the extending prongs. Having half of the stand organized and the other half a complete mess, a mishmash of different charms for different purposes all clustered together regardless of purpose and intent irks at his soul. But for Yoonho, he’ll bear it. For now.
When Yoonho pulls out his wallet, Hyungwon shoots him a look, that fondness fading from his features. “This one is on me.” Yoonho balks at the sentiment immediately, but his mouth snaps shut when he sees the way Hyungwon stares at him, daring him to try. “This charm,” Hyungwon says, swiping the tiny silver clover from the counter and safely depositing it in a cobalt faux-velvet pouch, “has been years in the making. I have pushed you to talk to him since you started working here.”
“But nothing.” Hyungwon extends his hand, the pouch dangling from the ties looped around his finger. “Take this. Keep it with you. Talk to him. And when he asks you out, I want to know every juicy detail.”
“And,” Hyungwon stresses, lips curling at the far corners again, a Cheshire of a grin, “if that fails, we do have a potion for that.”