frenchswissborder said: Prompt: Alex buying the flowers.
"What kind of flowers?"
The florist repeats herself.
"Um, I don’t know…pretty ones?"
"They’re flowers. They’re all pretty,"
The look of panic on his face is enough for her to take pity and she reaches for her order pad, “Who are they for?”
"Emma." Alex doesn’t realize that is a profoundly stupid answer until she just stares at him again. He makes a nervous laugh and scratches his ear. "Um, a girl. A friend who is a girl." He actually flinches when he finishes saying it.
"A girl who is a friend who you would like to be your girlfriend?"
God that was terrifying to say aloud.
She smiles at him now and normally Alex would feel ridiculous. He knows how to get a girl flowers. He does. He wants to tell the florist he isn’t this strangled fool most of the time. Most of the time he knows exactly what he is doing.
But with Emma Woodhouse everything is different. Alex takes a lot of pride in knowing what to do. That’s what he brings to their partnership. His instincts are good. Emma dreams and inspires, and he executes and plans. But when it comes to Emma Woodhouse Alex is completely caught off guard. He knows how to buy a girl flowers; he doesn’t know how to buy Emma Woodhouse flowers.
"Roses are romantic."
"Emma hates roses. She says they’re cliche."
The florist tries again, “What’s her favorite color?”
"She’s always talking about Pantone color forecasts, which I’m not exactly sure is a thing that exists,” he looks at the florist to see if any of this is making sense, but the woman just stares at him with wide eyes. He exhales, “I don’t know her favorite color because she changes it with whatever Pantone says, whoever he is.”
"Ok-kay. Sunflowers are cheerful."
"She hates the seeds."
"Aren’t those really easy to kill? Emma’s high maintenance; she doesn’t do high maintenance companions well."
The florist bites her lip and Alex considers just backing out of the florist shop. Maybe this was a sign? Getting Emma flowers…it’s everything. It’s going to change everything. Alex is a stuck-in-his-ways kind of guy. He doesn’t change easily, and he certainly doesn’t bet everything good in his life on a bouquet of flowers.
But here he is and while this experience might be mortifying it’s nothing compared to how miserable he’s been being away from her.
"Why don’t you just tell me about her?" The florists puts down the order pad.
Alex stuffs his hands in his pockets and smiles, “She made her assistant accidentally spill coffee on my favorite pair of khakis because she hated them.”
"So she’s bold?"
"Yeah, definitely bold. She wears these ridiculous high heels all the time because she says they tell the world I’m Emma Woodhouse. Every time she buys a new pair I think she’s going to trip and fall and hurt herself. But she never does. She makes it look easy.”
"So she’s girly?"
"A lot. One time I went over to her house for dinner and she had all these throw pillows on her couch. You couldn’t sit on it there were all these pillows. Six. I told her that was too many and the next day I came into my office and there were throw pillows all over the place. Dozens of them. It took me weeks to find people to take them."
"So the two of you contrast each other a lot?"
"There was this one pillow I kept though. It was super soft and sometimes I use it to take naps in my office. I keep it in the closet so she doesn’t know I liked it. Wait, what were you saying? I’m sorry. I was talking on and on about throw pillows." He ends with a nervous laugh and grips the counter. Was he seriously just rambling about throw pillows?
"Here you go."
The florist slides a bouquet of bright, happy flowers toward him. They’re dramatic and bold. The colors play off one another; they’re all attention grabbing but somehow together they work. Alex sees the colors of Emma in the flowers: the walls of her office, the bright pink she wears on her lips, and the white he loves to see her in.
He thinks of Boxx Hill and how much he loved standing out of the balcony overlooking the hills with her. She wore white that night and it played off her skin in a way that made Alex want to kiss all the spots on her that curved: her lips, her throat, her shoulder, her palm, and many, many more. Since then every time he sees white he thinks of the curve of Emma in that dress and how much he wished he had the right to touch her like he wants.
"You…did it," he stammers.
The florists pats his hand, “Good luck honey.”
(Later - much later - that night when Alex has his hands on Emma’s curves Emma mentions the flowers. They’re on her couch surrounded by a ridiculous number of throw pillows and the flowers sit in a Tiffany vase on her coffee table.
"You did a good job picking those out," she nudges his jaw with her nose and his hands tighten on her back as she kisses along his collar bone.
"I told you I know how to get a girl flowers," he says and draws her lips up to his own where they belong.
How do you get a girl flowers? You make a fool of yourself in front of a florist talking about said girl. You do it because you can’t not do it.)