The blooms were huge, bursting with bright yellow petals that radiated out from large, black centers.
They were warmth and kindness, friendship and light, packed into a long stem and sunflower.
At first, Wilson had planned on sending Cuddy roses. It was cliché and typical sure, but it was also a traditional choice. And he'd learned over the years that even if roses weren't a woman's favorite flower, they still meant something special. They made an impact that other types of flowers could not.
But when he walked into "Le Flower Shoppe," the beautiful sunflowers sitting on the counter instantly caught his eye.
There were six of the large blossoms arranged in a tall, crystal-clear vase. And since there were so few of the flowers, they weren't crowded in next to each other. Instead, they were spread out so each one could be seen. The display was airy and light, but more importantly, it was different and beautiful.
However, it wasn't that the flowers reminded him of Cuddy or anything like that. He didn't compare the black centers of the blooms to her raven black hair or the bright yellow petals to her sunny disposition.
In fact, her recent mood and attitude were the reason he'd decided to stop at the flower shop that morning before work.
Ever since getting back from the medical conference, she'd been… off.
But really, all things considered, he could understand that.
The revelations at the dance.
The awkward breakfast the last morning of the conference.
It was enough to shake up anyone's nerves. And Cuddy was no exception.
But every time he tried to talk to her, she would simply reply with the standard "I'm fine"-s and the "Really, there's nothing wrong."-s. Wilson didn't believe her though. No, he knew Cuddy too well to believe the platitudes. Her voice was light, but her eyes were not. Her blue irises were tinged with sadness and stress, and there were dark circles under her normally vibrant eyes.
It was a look he'd learned to recognize long ago. It said that she was frustrated and confused.
It also told Wilson that nothing he could say would help. Whatever she was going through, she'd have to work it out on her own. He'd learned long ago that there were just some things, some moods, that couldn't be helped with a patented Wilson heart-to-heart.
And again, he understood that. After Amber died, there was nothing that anyone could have said that would have made him feel better. It wasn't until people had stopped trying to comfort him and left him alone that he'd begun to heal.
Because of that, he'd given up trying to talk to her about how she was doing. But that didn't mean he'd given up trying to make Cuddy feel better altogether. That was something Wilson just couldn't bring himself to do.
So he'd decided to send her flowers. Not just because women loved them, but also because they worked for pretty much all occasions. And on top of that, they were simple and obvious, just common place enough to not be too over the top or suggestive.
But as he'd walked into the flower shop, Wilson had been reminded painfully of the last time he'd been there. It had been to pick out the flowers for Amber's funeral, and he hadn't been in there since.
The moment Wilson had walked in the door, it had all come rushing back.
It had all been there and made more potent by the fact that he'd forgotten about that particular trip to the store.
As the feelings bore down on him, Wilson had wanted to turn and walk out of the store, to run away and never look back. But he'd known he couldn't spend his life hiding from the pain so he'd forced himself to walk further into the tiny shop.
Gradually, the pain had lessened, though it had never fully faded away. All he could do was try to focus on the flowers and why he'd come to the flower store in the first place.
Originally, he'd intended to head straight for the case of roses, but the moment he saw the sunflowers, the roses disappeared from his mind. And he knew that he didn't need to bother looking at anything else.
When he walked up to the counter, Wilson was greeted by a woman in her early-fifties with gray-flecked red hair and laughing green eyes. According to her daisy-shaped nametag, her name was Claire. She smiled at him warmly, asking if she could show him anything in particular. He merely grinned and asked about the sunflowers sitting on the counter next to her.
Claire's gently lined face split into an adoring grin as she reached out for the crystal-clear vase. Her voice was as soft and warm as melted caramel when she said, "Aren't they just heavenly?"
A few hours later, Wilson found himself standing just far away enough from Cuddy's office so as not to be obvious. He wanted to be there when the flowers arrived, but that wasn't the point of the gift. He wasn't the point of the gift.
The moment Cuddy saw the bouquet in her assistant's hands, her sullen expression turned into a wide smile. And when she started looking for a card, Wilson turned and walked away.
He hadn't included one. The flowers had been meant to cheer her up. Nothing more.
But as he thought of her smile, Wilson felt something stir inside of him that he'd thought had died with Amber.
Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- Originally written for Round 3 of the lj community "Wilson_fest" (Prompt: Wilson/Cuddy - Sunflowers.)
- Also written for the lj community "alphabetasoup" (K is for Kind)
- Quack: Thank you for your constant help and support. :).