sophie (flash_indie) wrote,
sophie
flash_indie

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Fic: The Florist!au

Title: The Florist. (1/3)
Rating: PG
Fandom: P!atd (Brendon/Ryan)
For: 

ohemgeitsemuhle

 

 

“So,” Brendon says, and he runs a hand across the desk in front of him, fingers the groves that bruise the wood, scar it, leave it looking like some battered veteran from Vietnam. “So, hi.”

 

Ryan though, that boy behind the counter, the one with the face too pretty for any boy, he doesn’t even look up. He just sighs, stares at the countertop with eyes too large, too deep, too quiet. He just taps at the sign behind him.

 

How may I serve you?

 

Brendon sighs, darts fingers through his hair, and shoots Ryan one last, fleeting glance. “Carnations,” he says, puffs out his cheeks and dishes out his wallet.

 

Ryan, he nods, fumbles with the paper pad in his hand and for a few seconds, that’s the only sound, the pen that runs races across the paper.  But then he sighs again, and his sneakers, they squeak across the floor as he goes to get the flowers.

 

*

 

It doesn’t really start anywhere, but if Brendon had to choose a beginning, he’d tell people it was on his brother’s second wedding anniversary.

 

On the day it rained cats and dogs and horses.

 

Pitter-patter pitter-patter, and Brendon, his clothes are soaked through, he’s drowning in the street, but Paul, Paul will be right pissed if he misses it, if he doesn’t go.

 

The florist on Walton Avenue is his first stop, and he falls inside the door, collapses onto the cold tiles that pattern the ground, the floor. They don’t match, and it’s all he can see.

 

Brendon groans, rubs his head with bruising fingertips. “Fuck,” he says. “Fuck.”

 

There’s a giggle somewhere in the space above him, and he looks up in time to see a pretty boy with too much soil on his clothes, beneath his nails, to really be hygienic. The boy is shuffling closer, and with every movement, Brendon gets a nose full of marigold and tiger lily.

 

“A hand’d be good right about now,” Brendon says though, and he sits up properly, rubs some of the water off his knees and his thighs.

 

The boy, he laughs again, smiles so wide that it stretches, tugs around the shells of his ears. He pushes a hand off his hip, hovers it just above Brendon’s eye-level, and Brendon, he takes it, but probably pulls himself up.

 

“Thanks,” he says, and the boy, he’s still smiling, his eyes are still crinkled, and Brendon can’t say he understands why his heart flutters in his throat, hums like a new car, whistles like a Bell Bird.

 

“Thanks,” he says again, and the boy squints a little, looks straight into Brendon’s eyes, and Brendon’s breath gets caught around his heart. “Thanks.”

 

“Ryan,” a voice calls from somewhere behind them. “Ryan.” It’s another boy, another young guy, and he grasps the first boy, Ryan, by the shoulder. “Ryan, go help Greta out back.”

 

Ryan nods, but he’s all smiles still, his fingers loosen on Brendon’s hand, and he waves a little.

 

Goodbye.

 

Only Brendon, he chooses to interpret it as see you later.

 

“Hey, are you all right?”

 

And it’s the other boy, the other boy with his hand on his hip, and his apron covered in grass stains.

 

“Fine, good, actually, great,” Brendon says, and he runs a hand through his hair, it catches on the melted gel, liquid wax, and Brendon grimaces too hard. “I’ve been better.”

 

“I could guess that,” the boy says, and casts him a wry smile, “I’m Spencer, how can I help you?”

 

“Oh, uh, I need a bouquet.”

 

“I assumed,” Spencer states dryly. “Specifically?”

 

“Surprise me.”

 

*

 

“Fuck, I hate my job,” Brendon mumbles, and tries not to scratch at where the rim of the rubber glove grazes the skin on his wrist. “Fuck.”

 

Brendon, he works in a tropical smoothie hut, and even the back room, the one with no customers, it’s littered with fake palm trees and sunshine-yellow wallpaper. He figures he should start wearing sunglasses to work, what with the way the fluorescent light bulb reflects off the metallic sinks and drawers and sterilized countertops.

 

“Shut up, Brendon,” Hayley says, but she lets loose a wayward grin from where she hides behind the trays of fruit. “Everyone knows you love us really.”

 

“I’m not denying that, Hayls, what I’m saying is that I hate this job. This stupid, crappy job of tending to obese people with fruit fetishes.”

 

Hayley, she laughs aloud at that and wanders over to him, leans her head on his shoulder. “You are such a dick.”

 

Brendon grumbles out an inaudible reply and leans his head over hers. “My life sucks so bad.”

 

“It could be worse.”

 

“Name one way in which it could be worse.” And he knows it’s stupid and it’s petty and there are probably a million dying kids in Africa who would very happily trade places, but, well, Brendon really hates his job.

 

Hayley rolls her eyes though, chuckles and runs a hand over the watermelon in front of her. “You could be on the tills.”

 

Maybe it’s agreed amongst everyone who works for minimum wage that customer service should be on the psychiatrist’s pamphlets of why people commit suicide.

 

“Brendon,” Rosie calls from the doorway. Rosie, she’s the big shift manager, she knows everyone, and maybe, maybe she’s nice, but she’s not nice to them. “Brendon, I need you to take over out front!”

 

Brendon lifts his head just enough to glare venomously at the back of Hayley’s red-headed skull. “You jinxed me, bitch.”

 

“Have fun,” she says, grabs the knife from the strainer to slaughter the watermelon. “And when you get back I shall be ready with a list of all the ways in which your life could be worse.”

 

“I hate you,” he says, but he rips off his gloves and storms out of what the employees affectionately call the ‘doors of hell’.

 

Behind him, Hayley, she calls out, “You love me!”

 

The front of the store is surprisingly empty for a Saturday morning. The fan rickets overhead, a couple in the back corner share a straw, a group of girls in the middle gossip about Heath Ledger and Brokeback Mountain.

 

Only, the glass sides of the counter - the ones that display fruit and cakes and drinks - well, there’s a boy pressed up against it.

 

Not a whole boy, just hands and arms and a face.

 

Brendon quirks a brow and props himself over the counter. “Excuse me?”

 

The boy, he looks up too quickly, smiles too wide and he waves.

 

It’s the guy, the Ryan from the florist two days ago. “Hi,” Brendon says, and maybe he smiles back a bit, maybe he waves too.

 

Ryan stands up suddenly, and Brendon falls back on his heels. “Hey, what would you like?”

 

The boy, though, Ryan, he doesn’t say anything, he just, he pulls a menu from the countertop, reads, points at a passion fruit and apple smoothie.

 

“That one?”

 

Ryan doesn’t say anything, doesn’t acknowledge Brendon’s there at all really, and just pulls out $4.85 from his ugly, brown wallet.

 

*

 

Brendon really hates it when shops have bells above their doors, so he tries not to grimace when he slides into the florist the next day, resists the urge to tell someone to take it down.

 

Ryan’s there, Ryan’s there in the corner of the tiny store, and he’s picked up one of the generic vases, one of the one’s filled with Jacaranda blossoms.

 

“Hi,” Brendon says, and Ryan, the look he shoots back is almost inquisitive, almost confused.

 

“Uh, how are you?” Brendon asks, and he shakes his fingers a little, rolls back on his heels.

 

Ryan sighs, runs fingers through his hair, and maybe he shrugs, but with the way he moves, it’s kinda hard to tell. He picks himself up and wanders back behind the counter, reaches over and taps at the sign.

 

How may I serve you?

 

“Oh, well, daisies…or something, to be honest I don’t know. Can you like, recommend any?”

 

A woman sneaks out from behind the counter, out of nowhere, out of the labyrinth. “Can I help you, sir?”

 

“Oh, yeah, I guess.”

 

“Ryan, go help Greta out back.”

 

Somewhere in the distance, Spencer rolls his eyes.

 

*

 

“So, there’s this guy,” Brendon starts, and Mia opposite him, she laughs aloud.

 

“Fuck, Brendon,” she says, and piles ice-cream into her mouth.

 

“It’s not a big deal or anything, it’s just, he seems, I dunno, nice.”

 

“Is he hot?” she asks, and Mia’s skin is milky white to match the ice-cream, her hair is the chocolate flake they put in at the stands. Her pants are the corrugated tan cone. Brendon wonders if he could eat her.

 

Then again, it’d be kinda gross seeing as she’s his sister.

 

“Define hot.”

 

“So, not?” Mia says, mumbles, chokes out. It’s kinda hard to tell, when she has a mouthful of food.

 

“No, he is. I mean, he’s cute and stuff, pretty.

 

Mia quirks a brow, rubs her mouth off on her sleeve. “Pretty?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Okay,” she says, but she’s still grinning like a lunatic. “Okay.”

 

“But, he like, he just doesn’t talk, like ever. I mean, I’m sure he can, he just…chooses not to? I dunno.”

 

“Maybe he thinks you’re an idiot,” Mia states, and she’s smiling still, as she leans backward onto the floor. She’s feeling too pregnant today, and even if she doesn’t admit it, she’s a little scared. She’s not ready to play house all on her own yet.

 

Brendon though, he just stares at her blatantly, his forehead crinkles and the corners of his lips droop dramatically. “Mia.

 

She glances over, before chuckling at Brendon’s face. She reaches over to slap his leg. “Fuck, Bren, I’m kidding.”

 

“You better be,” Brendon says, and he lies down next to her, stretches out an arm to touch her belly.

 

“If he can’t see how wonderful you are, then fuck him.” Mia states resolutely, and she tries to roll over, struggles with her waist, so instead just wraps her own arm around Brendon’s.

 

“This seems marginally familiar,” Brendon says, and he casts her a wry smile. “You regurgitating advice I gave you?”

 

“Yeah,” Mia says, but she, she’s a strong set of four-walls that were built on these shaky, these wobbly foundations. So essentially, she tells herself, essentially her strong walls are useless if all they’re gonna do is cave in. “Sorry.”

 

“Michael’s an idiot,” Brendon says, “and he’s a loser. You and baby are better off without him.”

 

“Yeah,” Mia says, but she doesn’t quite believe it.

 

*

 

So maybe the florist is a really tiny store. Maybe it’s this tiny building that shrinks with every bundle of flowers that grow around the walls like jungle vines.

 

Maybe, now that Brendon’s here with just the one intention, it seems even smaller.

 

“So,” Brendon says, and Ryan’s in the front, watering the pansies and wow, the irony in that scenario. “So,” Brendon tries again, adamantly attempting to ignore his exploding heart. “So…”

 

Ryan’s staring at him now, like he’s just noticed he came in. Ryan, he waves.

 

“So, hi,” Brendon says, and how sad is it that it took him that long to say that?

 

Ryan squints, smiles, wrings the handle of the can around in his fingers, those desperately long things.

 

“So, well, I’m Brendon, and I don’t think I ever introduced myself.” He sticks out a hand, and fuck, he feels like an idiot. Feels ridiculous here, with this boy he hardly knows. “I’ve been coming in here for the last three and a half weeks, you might have noticed me or, y’know, maybe you haven’t…”

 

Ryan’s all wariness as he eyes off the hand, but he reaches a wet palm out to meet it after much trepidation, and wow, awkward.

 

“So, okay, so the point is, uh, for lack of a better phrase,” Brendon says, and he’s starting to feel like a twelve-year-old with a crush. “I like you, and well, maybe we could go out sometime.”

 

The other boy, Ryan, he’s still not saying anything, and Brendon isn’t all that surprised, but maybe he’s disappointed, maybe he wants some sort of reaction, coz this is starting to feel too much like rejection.

 

“Just, you know, maybe, I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna force you or anything.” And he lets loose a nervous chuckle, one that vibrates around the pits of his stomach. “It could be fun…”

 

Ryan, his forehead is creasing, and his lips droop uncomfortably, he starts to wander off before Brendon can say anything else. Ryan, he’s walking behind the desk, and when Brendon looks over he blushes too hard, the tips of his ears and the base of his neck an unpleasant colour of blood-red.

 

Ryan, he looks over, and his eyes might be watering a bit, but instead, he just turns around and taps, taps at that fucking sign.

 

How may I serve you?

 

“Fuck,” Brendon says, and something has crept its way up his shins, his thighs, crawled through his navel, and is currently exploding, rupturing in his stomach. The smoke billows through his throat, out his ears, out his mouth. “Fuck you,” he says. “I ask one thing, you could at least fucking reply-“

 

Ryan’s eyes are suddenly made of glass, they reflect the light, waver, bend, and Brendon, he’s about ready to implode, take out Ryan and this entire fucking store, but…but he’s grabbed from behind, thrust out the closed door, and that fucking bell, it rings in his ears.

 

Suddenly, suddenly he’s out the front of the florist, and Spencer’s in front of him, homicide in his non-glass eyes.

 

“What are you doing?” he asks, and his voice, it’s too calm, but not calm enough to make Brendon shut up.

 

“I practically throw myself at him, and he just, he doesn’t answer, he says fuck all, I mean, I just asked him out and-“

 

“Brendon,” Spencer interrupts, sighs, his eyes dart around the street, and maybe he shouldn’t be saying this. “Brendon, Ryan was in an accident when he was a baby.”

 

“And then he - What?”

 

“Brendon,” Spencer says, and he runs a fisted hand over his forehead, “Brendon, Ryan’s deaf.”

 

“You mean he hasn’t actually…”

 

“Heard any of what you’ve said? No.”

 

“But he knew the flowers-” Brendon says, and he’s grasping at straws, pulling at the threads of some broken argument.

 

“He’s worked here for the last four years,” Spencer states, rubs at the striped fabric of his ugly apron. “He’s getting all right at lip-reading the names of common household plants.”

 

“Oh,” Brendon says. “Oh.”

 

“Yeah, ‘oh’.” And Spencer, he sighs again, stares at the pavement. “Just, leave him alone, stop, stop pursuing him, he can’t…you can’t, Brendon. He needs someone who will get it, you…too much of you is what you say.”

 

*


Continue to part 2

Tags: bandom, panic at the disco, the country inside my head
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