Katsuki Flowers is a quiet place. It’s serene. It’s calm. It’s everything that Yuuri craves in his day and it makes him feel at peace with his place in the world as he tends plants and creates bouquets and it makes his world feel like it’s a little more orderly and a little less random.
That illusion is shattered the day that the blond hurricane named Yuri Plisetsky barged through the door, shouting about wanting to buy the ugliest bouquet Yuuri had.
“How do I say ‘fuck you, old man, I hate your guts’ in flowers?” he demanded, fingers digging into the edge of the front counter.
Yuuri blinked at him owlishly for a few moments. “Excuse me?”
The younger man let out an exasperated sigh. “How do. I say. Fuck you. With flowers,” he said slowly, enunciating every word. Yuuri could practically hear the capital letters in his answer.
Well that was interesting. Yuuri got a few customers every month who understood that flowers were its own kind of language, but they never requested anything mean (though there had been one man who showed up in tears, begging for a bouquet that would say sorry as well as call the recipient a heartless witch, but that was one time ). He thought for a moment, slowly removing his glasses to clean them on the hem of his sweater while he tried to come up with an answer.
“Well,” he said slowly, “you would need geraniums for stupidity, foxglove for insincerity, meadowsweet for uselessness, yellow carnations for disappointment, and orange lilies for hatred. It would look hideous.”
The younger man pointed at Yuuri, finger jabbing the air near his glasses. “Yes! That. I want that one. With lots of the useless flower. The old man is useless and a fool.”
Whoever was going to receive these flowers better not know the meaning of them, Yuuri thought wryly. Otherwise he might not see this man again, and that might be a pity - he was entertaining to say the least.
“You could also include columbine and tansy then, since you seem to have it out for the guy. Maybe some fir if I can get some that’s brittle enough - it means time, and you keep calling him old. Are you sure you want to do this? It’ll cost you, and it’s… definitely a strong message.”
A card appeared in front of Yuuri before he could finish the question. “Charge it, flower boy. And I’ll pay extra to have it delivered two days from now. He’ll be getting back then. Can you do it?”
Oh, a challenge. For as calm and collected as Yuuri tried to be, he had a competitive streak a mile wide, and this fed right into it. He looked at the name on the card and then looked at the man, Yuri Plisetsky, and grinned. It looked just a little feral, a little mad. “Just leave me the name and address and it’ll be there on time, Mr. Plisetsky.”
The blond returned his grin with one of his own, almost like a big wild cat baring its teeth. “It’s a pleasure doing business with you.”
When he delivers the bouquet to the local ice skating rink two days later, Yuuri doesn’t get to meet the recipient of the truly hideous (and odd smelling, really) arrangement. Instead, it’s left at the front desk for “Gray Haired Asshole”. The card attached has a crudely drawn stick figure putting up both middle fingers, and is signed by the “Ice Tiger”, which is probably some inside joke between the two. Yuuri looked apologetically at the receptionist and headed back to the flower shop, content to let the event fade into a story that he would tell Phichit when his best friend was in town the following week.
“Oi! Flower Boy!”
Yuuri looked up from the centerpiece he was arranging for a birthday luncheon. “Hey, Yuri. You can call me by name, you know.”
The blond scoffed. “Yeah, right. There’s only room for one Yuri in this town and that’s me.”
“Well Flower Boy isn’t very creative.”
Mari, who was working in the shop today as well, poked her head into the front room, two buckets of flowers fresh from the market in hand. “Nishigori called him Katsudon when they were kids,” she offered.
Yuuri turned bright red - a shade that was alarmingly close to the roses that he was holding. “Mariiiii,” he complained, before shooing her into the backroom, mumbling in Japanese, “You don’t have to go telling everyone that story. It’s embarrassing!”
There was a choking noise that was Yuri trying not to laugh. “Alright, Katsudon. I need another bouquet. What says ‘retire already and leave me alone’?”
“Fine... Yurio ,” he shot back. Two could play at that game. “Belladonna, candytuft, butterfly weed, probably some more yellow carnations, and cyclamen. That ought to do the job.”
Without another word, Yuri - Yurio - handed over the card.
“Same recipient and address?” Yuuri asked.
The blond rolled his eyes. “Do you always ask the obvious questions?”
“Do you always answer a question with a question?”
“Do you have to be so annoying?”
“Don’t you have anything better to do than bug your coworker?”
Mari poked her head out again. “Yuuri, either take the damn credit card, or I swear I will tell him about the time you were obsessed over a sk-”
This time when Yuuri dropped off the flowers, Yurio happened to be in the lobby on his cell phone. He looked at the other man and grinned, taking the flowers from him, mouthing, “I’m going to put them in his locker this time,” before waving and walking away.
What a weird place to work.
“KATSUDON,” Yurio hollered. He kicked the door open with so much force that it rattled the nearby cold storage unit, almost toppling the wreath Yuuri had finished the day before. Hood up and hands stuffed in his pockets, Yurio made his way up to the counter and then behind it, having been granted access to the work room in the back by Yuuri’s mother, who could look at an angry possum and want to love it forever.
“Katsudon, what did I do? Why do I deserve this?” he whined. “Am I nice? Not really. But I love my Grandpa. I stopped pranking Mila. I do my homework.I take care of Potya! I don’t even hiss at the old man’s dumb dog anymore! So, what the fuck did I do to deserve this?”
Looking up cooly from the wire frame he was molding, Yuuri asked, “Deserve what, exactly?”
“Traveling with the drama queen,” he huffed. “We have to go to Canada next week and I’m stuck sitting next to the fucking dramatic lone man who keeps Morphe in business on the plane, and I have to room with him. All because the old man thinks he should have his own room!”
Weeks ago, Yuuri learned that it’s a Very Bad Idea to laugh at Yurio when he got like this, so he bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling, and tried his best to keep his tone even. “Wow. That sounds horrible. Maybe you were a serial killer in another life or something.”
“Well if I was, I clearly didn’t kill the jerkass well enough that he came back for this life,” Yurio huffed. “Can you make something that I can pick up tomorrow and bring to the ice rink? It’ll be a ‘safe travels’ sort of present.”
The vicious tone told Yuuri that it wasn’t really supposed to be that. Experience with Yurio confirmed that suspicion.
“Tansy, dark crimson roses, marigolds, lavender - we haven’t used that one yet - oh and purple hyacinth. And yellow carnations, as always,” Yuuri mused. “You picking it up, or should I deliver?”
The grin that Yuuri saw spread across Yurio’s face was… disturbing to say the least. Remind me never to upset this guy .
As he handed the card over, the blond grinned. “I can pick it up. And… call me Yura. My friends get to do that. And after all of the bullshit I’ve thrown at you I think this counts.”
“Yura, then. Don’t think that means you’re getting a discount then.”
Text from: Yura - Can you deliver, actually? Grandpa needs me to move boxes this morning.
Text to: Yura - Sure. 10 am work?
Text from: Yura - Go for it. Just avoid Lilia. You’ll know who she is by the scent of brimstone and the cloven hooves she hides in her boots.
As Yuuri pulled the bouquet of flowers out of the back of the van, he sighed. Mari had warned him about giving customers his phone number - not like THAT, Mari - but Yura seemed like he needed to talk to someone. And he did. About his cat, and his grandpa, and complaining about the ‘old man’, the ‘drama queen’, and the ‘redheaded witch’ nearly every day. And now he was requesting flower delivery. That was fine, Yuuri didn’t mind it at all, but he was going to have to draw a line somewhere.
The same receptionist was at the front desk of the ice rink, and Yuuri grimaced. “Sorry… What can I tell you, this kid really likes ordering flowers for-”
Oh no. No, no no. Not happening. This is not my life, I am asleep, I am dreaming and Yura has infected my brain with thoughts of things that we do not deserve in this world because there’s no way I was bad enough in any universe to be delivering hate flowers to Viktor Nikiforov.
Except he was. Bad enough, that is. Had he avoided taxes? Forgotten Mother’s Day? Was Mari playing a prank on him? Something had to happen, because there he was - the Living Legend, wearing jeans and his trademark red and white Russian Olympic Team jacket, perfect silver hair and mesmerizing blue eyes, walking toward Yuuri with a look of… anticipation?
And was that grin heart-shaped? “Are you the mastermind behind all of these bouquets I’ve been getting?”
Yuuri nodded dumbly.
“So thoughtful of Yurochka - don’t call him that, he yells at me when I do - to get me flowers!.But what am I going to do with them when I’m going? Yakov-”
Yakov - scariest coach alive Yakov Feltsman - didn’t even look up from his phone. “No, Vitya. You’re not taking the flowers on the plane. Leave them here with Anya.”
A wailing soon joined the cacophony. “Anya, my love! Why have you left me?” a dark man sobbed into the elbow of his jacket. The receptionist looked very uncomfortable. “Why must you leave me for that hockey- that hockey-”
“Player?” Viktor supplied helpfully.
“That puck chasing womanizer!” the dark haired man wailed.
Finally, Yakov looked up from his phone. “Georgi, for the love of god - stop your blubbering and go get in the van. Vitya, do something about the flowers. Mila is picking up Yura and will be here soon.”
During this incredibly wild exchange, Yuuri stood dumbfounded, flowers still in hand. This fact had not gone unnoticed by Viktor, who turned on him with a blinding, probably literal (and not just Twitter) award winning smile.
“Would you mind keeping these for me for a few days?” he asked winsomely. “I’ll certainly come pick yo- them up after we come back from Montreal.”
“Sure,” Yuuri squeaked. He would have been more embarrassed if he was convinced that this was actually happening.
With that, Viktor plucked the card out of the bouquet. The envelope had the name of the flower shop printed on it, and he stowed it in his wallet with a flourish. “See you in a few days then,” he said with a wink.
Yuuri was going to kill Yura when he saw him next. And charge him double for the next ‘I hate you’ bouquet.