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Flower Talk

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The first thing Jungkook notices about Jimin, really notices, is his laugh. It’s high and sweet like little tinkling bells and Jungkook thinks it might be the prettiest thing he’s ever heard. Of course there’s his eye smile too—a kitten smile—and the soft quality of his voice, the gentle way in which he speaks. And then there’s those plump, pink lips and the pretty curve of his cheeks, the perfect slope of his nose and the lovely line of his jaw, those toned arms Jungkook definitely takes the chance to admire every time Jimin helps him carry the buckets of flowers into the shop, but more than anything Jungkook loves his laugh.

 

Maybe that’s the reason Jungkook had been so out of it during their very first meeting when he’d unthinkingly reached out to pluck a petal from Jimin’s hair. Jimin had blushed all the way to the tips of his ears, but a second later he laughed that sweet laugh and Jungkook couldn’t help but be just a little bit smitten.

 

It was over two months ago that said meeting had taken place. Tall, dark, and handsome—that’s all Jimin could think when his boss had introduced him to the newly hired delivery boy. But there was more to Jungkook than just tall, dark, and handsome. There was also fluffy hair, a bashful smile, and eyes with a playful glint to them. There was dimpled cheeks and shy glances and a penchant for flowers.

 

“I’m Jeon Jungkook.” A sweet, husky voice. He’d looked devastatingly gorgeous in a gray sweater and ripped jeans.

 

“Park Jimin. It’s nice to meet you,” Jimin had said, flashing Jungkook his most charming smile, and he genuinely meant it.

 


 

Jungkook’s main job is delivering bouquets and flower arrangements via the shop’s pastel pink van, but three times a week he has to drive out to a local flower farm to pick up a fresh supply of flowers and transport them to the shop.

 

Jimin is particularly fond of these days. He claims the table right in front of the window so he can watch Jungkook unload the containers full of flowers from the van while he arranges (or attempts to arrange because lord those arms are distracting) bouquets. His coworkers tease him endlessly about it, but he couldn’t care less as long as he gets to see the way Jungkook’s biceps bulge when he lifts the buckets of flowers down from the truck, and the shy smile Jungkook gives him when he notices him in the window watching is always worth it.

 

But in the moments in between, when Jungkook isn’t picking up a fresh shipment of flowers or delivering bouquets, he spends his time in the shop with Jimin.

 

Jimin would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy Jungkook’s company. He’d been awkward at first and so reserved, opting to communicate mostly through smiles and nods, hmm’s and mmhmm’s, and when he did speak he was so easily flustered. He’d stumble and trip over his words, rubbing the back of his neck shyly as he spoke, and all the while throwing Jimin these sheepish, crooked smiles, but he was warm and sweet and he seemed genuinely interested in Jimin’s ramblings about flowers and floral design.

 

It’s been a few months since then and Jungkook is finally starting to open up, to unfold and blossom like the white amaryllis Jimin is growing in the small garden behind the shop. Even now, Jimin can’t deny how immensely flattering it is that someone as gorgeous as Jungkook is interested in what he has to say, can’t wrap his head around the idea that Jungkook might actually be interested in him.

 

Jimin still doesn’t understand why Jungkook chooses to spend his lunch breaks in the shop with him when he could easily be spending his time with Jimin's co-worker Yeri, who has a massive, painfully obvious crush on him, or the pretty coffee shop girl across the street who always comes over to flirt with him when she catches him unloading the truck. But even though Yeri is undoubtedly adorable and the coffee shop girl is relentless in her pursuit of him despite the fact that he literally can’t function around her (or any female for that matter), he still chooses to spend his time in the shop with Jimin, making small talk while he munches on his sandwich and Jimin assembles bouquets.

 

Truthfully, Jungkook likes to watch Jimin arrange flowers.

 

It’s enchanting to see how engrossed Jimin gets in it, how much he obviously enjoys it, and Jungkook finds it equally fascinating to watch him build each arrangement. He loves to watch Jimin’s fingers work, weaving ribbons and wiring stems, adjusting petals here and there. The arrangements he puts together are always beautiful. They’re not like Yeri’s unique, colorful arrangements or Joy’s simple, monochromatic ones, or even Seohyun’s exquisite cascading bouquets. They’re delicate and intricate, elegant.

 

“They’re lovely,” Jungkook tells him and the resulting blush that rises to Jimin’s cheeks makes his heart swell.

 

The shop is always bright, relaxing. Light is always spilling in through the big display windows at the front of the shop, falling across the tables where Jimin assembles the bouquets, falling over his orange hair, so faded it’s nearly blonde, making him glow like an angel.

 

Jungkook thinks he probably is.

 

When Jimin talks about flowers, Jungkook can’t help but be intrigued. History was never his favorite subject, but the enthusiasm with which Jimin recites the Greek mythology behind anemones and carnations somehow makes it seem like the most interesting thing in the world. Jungkook loses himself in the gentle tone of Jimin’s voice and the light in his eyes when he talks about flowers, finds himself completely enamored with the way Jimin moves his hands when he speaks and the absolutely adorable habit he has of blowing his bangs up out of his face when he’s working that Jungkook thought existed only in books and movies. And then there’s his habit of nibbling on his lips when he’s concentrating that never fails to make affection bubble up in Jungkook’s chest.

 

It’s sometime during these afternoons, in between the sandwiches and the flower talk and the petals, that Jungkook falls in love.

 


 

Jungkook likes the red bouquets the best. Jimin has a soft spot for the lavender ones.

 

“Do you know what lavender roses symbolize, Jungkook?” Jimin asks him one afternoon as he assembles a sample bouquet for a bride who’s dropping by later in the evening. Jungkook looks up from where he’s perched on the table, his eyes previously trained on Jimin’s fingers, and shakes his head. There’s a smile in his eyes that assures Jimin he wants to know.

 

“Enchantment,” Jimin says dreamily. “Isn’t that such a romantic touch to a wedding bouquet?” And Jungkook’s heart aches in his chest because he’s so incredibly fond.

 


 

Jimin, Jungkook has discovered, is a hopeless romantic.

 

He remembers the time he'd glimpsed Jimin’s eyes turn glossy when he was looking through the wedding photos a bride he’d created a bouquet for had sent him and how he’d wanted nothing more than to wrap Jimin up in his arms and press him into his chest.

 

One day Jungkook walks into the shop to find him humming happily to himself as he arranges a bouquet of red roses.

 

“What’s got you in such a good mood?” Jungkook asks, but it’s more of a conversation starter than anything because Jimin is never not in a good mood.

 

“The man who placed this order specifically requested that I use thornless roses,” Jimin replies brightly, as if it should make perfect sense.

 

Jungkook quirks a brow. “Is that supposed to mean something?” He’d learned months ago that flowers and their colors all have different meanings, but it had never crossed his mind that the absence or presence of thorns might mean something too.

 

Jimin stops humming and fixes him with a meaningful gaze, his eyes sparkling. “Thornless roses represent love at first sight,” he says sincerely and Jungkook’s heart skips a beat.

 


 

“I like these ones,” Jungkook says one day, motioning to the long-stemmed, red flowers Jimin is arranging in a vase.

 

Jimin laughs a little to himself. “It figures you would like them. They’re called amaryllis. They remind me of you.”

 

Jungkook opens his mouth to ask why but before he can get a word out Jimin launches into the story of Amaryllis and Alteo so Jungkook tucks the information into the back of his mind for another time.

 

“What’s your favorite flower?” Jungkook asks later that day. Business had been slow that day and he’d finished his rounds earlier than usual. Rather than going home, he’d decided to hang out in the shop with Jimin until closing time. It’s nearing six o’clock and warm hues from the setting sun are passing through the shop windows, bathing them in orange light.

 

Jimin contemplates for a few minutes, his fingers working methodically at the wedding centerpiece on the table before him. Jungkook’s eyes are drawn to the way he nibbles on his lower lip.

 

“You know I love them all,” he says suddenly and Jungkook’s eyes jump back up to meet his gaze, but Jimin is already smiling at him knowingly. Jungkook grins back sheepishly, but he doesn’t duck his head the way he might have a month ago.

 

“But I love the symbolism of cherry blossoms,” Jimin finishes, choosing not to point out Jungkook’s obvious staring—he doesn’t need to—and Jungkook sits quietly, twiddling a discarded flower in his fingers as he waits for Jimin to go on.

 

“Cherry blossoms hold a lot of significance in Japanese culture,” he says, pausing to pluck a white rose from the centerpiece and replace it with a pink one. “They represent the fragility and the beauty of life.”

 

He peeks up at Jungkook then, his eyes searching, lip caught between his teeth in that nervous habit of him, and Jungkook nods encouragingly.

 

“Cherry blossom trees only bloom for a few weeks each year,” Jimin continues after a moment, “and in those few weeks they bloom brilliantly, but then they’re gone. They serve as a reminder that life is beautiful, but also tragically short.”

 

“Like carpe diem,” Jungkook says. He doesn’t know why he says it—it just kind of slips—but it might have something to do with the fact that Jimin is absolutely captivating and Jungkook has never been exactly eloquent when it comes to expressing his thoughts.

 

But Jimin just laughs. “Kind of. It basically means that life is precious and we should enjoy it while we can and appreciate its beauty because it’ll be gone before we know it.”

 

In the same moment that Jimin’s eyes rise up from the arrangement, Jungkook’s eyes slide down to meet his. Their gazes fall together like the sun falls to the horizon in the evening, like it's the most natural thing in the world; perfect and beautiful. They catch there, like the horizon catches the sun and cradles it there, like the catch of Jungkook’s breath every time their eyes meet and the catch of his heart every time Jimin looks at him like he wants to kiss him.


Jimin looks so pretty with the soft, orange light of the sunset falling across his features and it makes Jungkook’s heart ache.

 

You’re beautiful, he wants to say. You’re precious.

 

And he wants Jimin to know just how much he would appreciate him, cherish him, every single day of the rest of his life if Jimin would give him the chance, but something holds him back—he’s always been too much of a coward to seize the day—so he drops Jimin’s gaze, hops off the counter, and bids him goodnight.

 


 

Valentine’s Day

 

It’s the busiest day of the year.

 

Jimin arrives at the shop bright and early, chai tea latte in hand. The pink van is already parked outside the shop and Jungkook is unloading fresh buckets of flowers onto the sidewalk.

 

“Need help carrying those inside?” Jimin offers and promptly almost chokes on his latte because Jungkook is wearing a baby pink sweater and tight blue jeans. His hair is slightly tousled and his cheeks are tinged pink from the chilly morning air, but his eyes are so warm and so brown and Jimin has never seen someone more heartachingly gorgeous.

 

“That would be great,” Jungkook replies, that crooked smile still hanging off the corner of his lips, and Jimin fights the urge to stare because Jungkook looks so lovely in pink. Flustered, Jimin splutters a reply and hurries into the shop. He swallows down the warm rush of affection in his chest and busies himself with creating a mental list of all the things he needs to do and definitely not thinking about how good Jungkook’s thighs looked in those jeans.

 

After he finishes opening up the shop, Jimin throws on his apron, slaps his cheeks a few times for good measure, and joins Jungkook outside.

 

“I want to put some of these flowers outside the shop for people passing by…” he starts, trailing off when he realizes Jungkook is still flashing him that crooked smile.

 

“What?” he asks self-consciously, a blush rising to his cheeks.

 

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” Jungkook says, his smile shy, his bangs falling into his face. Jimin’s heart skips a beat.

 

“T-thanks,” he stutters, dropping his gaze to the pavement to hide the flush in his cheeks, and for the next hour he can't seem shake the warm, tingly feeling in his chest.

 


 

“Anything special planned for today?” Jimin asks conversationally when they’re loading the flowers into the refrigerator. For some reason he isn’t expecting Jungkook to say yes, so when he ducks his head and nods bashfully, the smile slides right off Jimin’s face, but he pulls it back up a second later and forces himself to remain composed when Jungkook asks him if he can help him make a bouquet for “someone special.”

 

“Of course,” Jimin agrees, but his smile doesn’t reach his eyes. He chastises himself for being so surprised that Jungkook might have a girlfriend—how could he not? It was wishful thinking to assume that someone as gorgeous and sweet and endearingly awkward as Jungkook would be single. It makes perfect sense now why Jungkook never showed any interest in Yeri or the coffee shop girl and Jimin was stupid to let himself believe that he might have actually been the reason. He’d misinterpreted the sweet smiles, the shy eye contact, and the warm laughter he mistakenly believed Jungkook had saved just for him.

 

Granted, it stings a little when Jungkook laces the bouquet with some of Jimin’s favorite flowers—cherry blossoms, peonies, hyacinth—but he tries not to let it get to him. Instead, he focuses on the way Jungkook’s eyes crinkle up when he smiles and the way he handles the flowers so delicately in his beautiful fingers, the meticulousness with which he’s assembling the bouquet.

 

While Jungkook busies himself with the florist’s manual (he’d stubbornly refused to ask Jimin’s help for any of the flower meanings) Jimin quietly slips away to work the register. There are bound to be a lot of walk-ins today and none of his coworkers have arrived yet. By the time the first customer has placed their order, Jungkook is on his way out the door, an absolutely gorgeous bouquet in his hand. It’s put together beautifully, all pale pinks and whites—mainly peonies and roses from what Jimin can tell—and his heart aches at the sight of it.

 


 

When Jungkook walks through the door of the shop roughly nine hours later with the bouquet still in hand, Jimin’s immediate reaction is relief, but not a second later he scolds himself for being so selfish.

 

“I’m sorry, Jungkook,” he says gently and really he is—sorry that anyone would have the mind to turn down someone like Jungkook.

 

Jungkook freezes in his tracks and his eyebrows knit together in confusion.

 

“For what?” he asks cautiously.

 

Now it’s Jimin’s turn to be confused. “You still have the bouquet,” he points out. “Did she reject you?”

 

For a moment Jungkook looks absolutely baffled. He glances down at the bouquet and then back up at Jimin, and realization dawns on his features.

 

To Jimin’s surprise, he lets out a relieved laugh. “Jimin, you’re an idiot,” he says, but there’s no bite to it.

 

Jimin’s mouth falls open into a little “o” of surprise. “What are you talking about?”

 

Jungkook closes the distance between them and presents the bouquet to Jimin.

 

“I made it for you, stupid.”

 

Jimin’s heart leaps into his throat. “You—what?” he falters, his eyes darting back and forth between Jungkook and the bouquet. He can hardly think with the scent of Jungkook’s cologne—clean, sweet, and slightly musky—invading his senses, making him lightheaded.

 

Jungkook steps closer, pressing forward until there’s nothing but mere centimeters of space and a bouquet between them, and Jimin is overwhelmed once more by how absolutely stunning he is. “Tell me the meanings again, Jimin,” he says softly, patiently.

 

Jimin looks bewildered. “What do you mean?” he asks, heart fluttering wildly in his chest.

 

Jungkook sighs and runs his hand through his hair. He was really hoping Jimin would catch on but it doesn’t appear that he’s going to, so even though it’s embarrassing as hell, Jungkook decides he’s just going to have to spell it out for him.

 

“You told me a few weeks ago that a flower reminded you of me,” he says. “Well… these flowers remind me of you.”

 

Jimin melts into the floor.

 

“Please, I want you to tell me the meanings,” Jungkook implores. His cheeks are dusted pink.

 

And Jimin can’t even attempt to resist those big doe-eyes, so he swallows his shyness and glances down at the bouquet. Peonies, roses, hyacinth, and ranunculus, all in varying shades of pink—the realization of the meanings sends a rush of warmth through his chest.

 

“Peonies symbolize romance and… bashfulness,” he says shyly, a blush rising to his cheeks.

 

“And the roses?” Jungkook urges gently.

 

Jimin traces the edges of a petal with his fingertip, the beginnings of a smile playing on his lips. “Light pink roses symbolize sweetness, gentleness, and joy.”

 

Jungkook reaches out to curl a finger beneath Jimin’s chin and he tilts his face up so that their eyes meet.

 

“What about white hyacinth?” he asks and he’s smiling so widely his eyes are crinkling at the edges; it takes Jimin’s breath away.

 

“Loveliness,” Jimin replies quietly, dropping his gaze. He shies away from Jungkook’s touch but Jungkook cups his cheek gently and chases after his eyes.

 

“And what about the ranunculus?” he asks softly.

 

Jimin is smiling now, so prettily, and Jungkook wants to kiss his cheeks and all his pearly teeth. “Radiant with charm.”

 

Jungkook plucks a single rose from the bouquet and holds it out to Jimin. The stem is smooth, free of thorns.

 

“Remind me again what a thornless rose symbolizes,” he says, and there’s a teasing lilt to his voice, a smile threatening at the corners of his lips.

 

Jimin blushes deep pink, pinker than the petals of the peonies.

 

“Love at first sight,” he mumbles and they're both flushing furiously now, unable to contain the nervous giggles that bubble up in their throats and spill into the space between them.

 

“I added some cherry blossoms too because they’re your favorite,” Jungkook continues. “And I figured, well, since life is beautiful and short and, like, you’re beautiful… and short? I mean—.”

 

 

Jimin ends his rambling with a kiss.