A/N: What have I just written...? Gah, it's four thirty in the morning! I don't know what I was thinking writing this. It seemed like a good idea at the time before it gained a life of its own... -grumbles-
Well, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I present a fluffy Elly/Leo. Abyss, it was hard to get this one out xD I do hope you'll read through until the end. I have another E/L VDay fic idea, but considering I just conceived it a few hours ago, I'm not sure it'll be out today... I shall certainly try my best!
This is for the contest that the group IvoryKeys - ElliotxLeo is holding on dA ;A;
Don't Give Me Roses
It was very much the same way people took in sunshine or laughter or the scent of flowers or the colors of the sunrise, every pastel imaginable smeared together with the wishes of stars; the same way people touched fire with the tips of their fingers, touched skin with skin, brushed soul to soul. It was like hearing music for the first time, when you hadn't heard music in years, the cry of a violin, the crash of a drum that was beating as fast as a lovestruck heart. It was all very much like that – loving someone, that is.
This was all something that Elliot Nightray whispered into his ear one night after they made love for the first time. All over the floor and bed were the dried petals of flowers that Elliot had crushed up and Leo had scattered them, tossing them up like confetti as they melted their lips together and pressed against each other's bodies. They had gotten the flowers from the floral shop that Elliot worked at and was owned by his older sister, Vanessa, a place called Le Papillon Floraison.
Through his long, dark bangs, Leo gave the blond laying across from him a stunned look. "Why do you like saying stupid things like that?" he asked, shifting so that he was looking at the ceiling. Elliot moved too, so that he was on top of the raven, staring him down with light-blue eyes. Obviously he wasn't going to let Leo off that easy.
"Maybe because I love you?" he prompted, eyebrows raised in expectation.
Taking a deep breath, Leo rolled his eyes and murmured the sentiment back. "Do you have to say those kinds of things though? What are you trying to prove, our eternal love or something?" See, Leo wasn't much of a romantic. He actually hated that sappy stuff, and was especially flustered and uncomfortable when he had to hear certain proclamations from the blond – because, unfortunately for him, Elliot was very romantic. Worse, he was an old-fashioned romantic – he picked up on the mannerisms during dates and always had some sort of gift for the raven during their anniversaries. Leo had the habit of forgetting them.
Elliot scoffed. His hand caressed Leo's cheek, rubbing it soothingly with his thumb. He then brushed back his bangs and kissed underneath each eye. "You know, you could try to just say you love me without any kind of sarcastic remark afterwards," he muttered.
"Oh, don't sulk, Elliot," Leo said, fingers dancing aimlessly on the naked chest touching him. "I know you love me."
"Yes, but sometimes I wonder if the affection is reciprocated," the blond continued to mutter. He laid his head on Leo's chest, one hand tracing down his side. "But I meant all of that, you know."
Had it been any other person, Leo might have just left it at that. But since the person was Elliot, and because he really did love him, he decided he'd give in just a little. "Thank you," he finally said. "For the words you spoke. I..." He struggled, ignoring the flush of his cheeks. "They mean a lot."
He felt Elliot smile.
"And for the record," he went on, "if the affection wasn't reciprocated, would I give my virginity to you?"
"Fair enough," said Elliot with a small laugh. Leo took some of the petals from the bed and tangled them in the soft blond hair.
Waiting just outside the bookstore was a girl with long blond hair and large green eyes. Tucked into her sweater was a small white cat that always managed to follow her, named Snowdrop. The pink ribbon in her hair rustled against her hair as she turned when Leo came out of the store.
"Ada," he said in slight surprise. "What are you doing here?"
"Big Brother went out with Gil, and I got restless just staying at home," she replied with a bright smile. The cat meowed softly in her pink sweater and she scratched in between its ears to keep it happy. "Since Leo and Elliot are my friends, I decided to look for you two, which wasn't very hard." She laughed, a soft sound.
Leo offered her a light smile. "Elliot's still working like a good college student. Want to wait with me in the cafe across the street?" He nodded over at the small store directly in front of the flower shop. It was where the raven usually occupied himself until Elliot clocked out.
Ada Vessalius nodded, holding onto his jacket sleeve as they crossed the street. The cafe, Persona, was already occupied by other people, and Ada took Leo to one empty table and plopped him on the high stool with a smile.
"I'll get us something," she declared cheerfully, putting her thin, black scarf on the table. Snowdrop meowed softly, playing with the blond hair over Ada's shoulder. "You don't like coffee, right? Neither do I. I'll get us both some hot chocolates~!"
Leo nodded, wondering as the blond waltzed off how people were going to react to the cat in her sweater. He unzipped his jacket a little and got out the book he just purchased. Still, even with the first page opened before him and begging to be read, it wasn't the story that had his attention, but the window beside him. He looked out, and in between the cars blurring down and up the street, he caught glimpses of Le Papillon Floraison.
Its display windows were covered with carnations and tulips and roses – traditional Valentine's Day flowers in the regular colors of pink, white, and red. Customers were bustling about inside, and every so often he'd see Elliot helping someone or holding several bouquets of flowers. It was really no wonder he always smelled so earthy and sweet, being surrounded by blooms half the day.
The small tup of a styrofoam cup being placed in front of him roused the raven back to reality. Steam curled invitingly over the hot cup of chocolate that Ada offered. She slid easily into the stool in front of him, slightly breathless.
"I hope you like B-T," she said. "I put some money in the jukebox and they were the only group I knew." She gave a small laugh and blew into her cup before taking a hearty gulp. Leo, possessing the cat's tongue that he did, decided to wait a little more until his drink cooled.
"How's Vincent doing?" he asked idly. Vincent was Elliot's older brother, but not by blood, having been adopted into the Nightray family along with another just a little bit before Elliot was born. For a while now, Leo knew that Ada and Vincent were dating.
Pink stained Ada's cheeks. "He's fine, but I'm sure Elliot tells you as much," she said, petting Snowdrop. Her large emerald eyes glanced down for a brief moment as a sad smile played on her lips. "I actually haven't been able to see him much recently because I've been so caught up with school. I call him everyday, though. Soon, I want to be able to spend a lot of time with him."
There was a large age difference between her and Vincent – an almost ten-year gap that the other Nightray siblings didn't approve of. "I'm sorry," Leo said awkwardly. He hardly ever spent time like this with Ada and didn't know exactly what to say. "It must be hard to be away from him for so long, right?"
Ada nodded, but she brightened up. "Well, you get to see Elliot everyday, don't you?"
Leo inclined his head over to where the flower shop. "Not anymore since Valentine's Day is coming up. I don't mind it too much though, since its his job." He shrugged and picked at his cup. Actually, he did mind...but just a little. After last night, he wanted to be with Elliot even more, for longer periods of time. It was an odd sensation, one that Leo didn't know what to do with. He knew he loved Elliot, but he didn't know exactly where he stood with him at present.
"Lately it's like he's trying to constantly remind me he loves me. More so than usual," he sighed wearily. He finally decided to take a sip of his drink, feeling the hot liquid warm his insides, which was always a pleasant feeling in the cold. "I have no idea why."
Ada blinked, considering as she rubbed one of Snowdrop's paws that stuck out from her sweater. "I know that Elliot is that type of caring person. I know that Leo is too, but he's just not as good with these kinds of feelings." She looked at him knowingly. "You haven't said you love him back, have you?"
"I have, but..." Leo raised a brow. "If it's love, shouldn't he just be able to feel it? That's the way things go, right?"
A hint of a fond smile tugged at the corners of Ada's mouth. "Maybe he wants something more from you?"
Another difference between him and Elliot was that Leo wasn't afraid to say things bluntly. However, he also wasn't the type of person to kiss and tell – especially when it came to sex, so he decided to omit the details of last night. "I'm hoping you'll just catch my drift, Ada, when I say I've given him all I have," he said. Her questioning look gave him all the answer he needed and he shook his head. "Ah, forget it." Vincent will probably do something soon, anyway...
"Well, what about Valentine's Day?" Ada offered cheerfully, clapping her hands together. "You two have something planned then, right? What are you doing for him?"
Leo gave her a long look like she came from another planet. Elliot had learned the hard way a long time ago that the raven didn't do Valentine's Day. It never stopped him, though, from his romantic antics. "Um... What am I doing for him? For Valentine's Day?" He said this dumbly, like he didn't understand the question.
Ada nodded. "It's in two days, right? It would be a perfect time to show how much you love him."
Fervently, Leo shook his head, messing up his tangled hair even more. "Ah, no," he tried to amend for her. "That's not it at all. I don't like-"
"No! Don't chicken out of this!" the blond insisted, making Snowdrop's ears perk up. "I promise it'll be fine. And Elliot will be happy. You want that, don't you, Leo?"
"...Yeah," he relented slowly.
And just like that, Ada was satisfied. Leo was beginning to think that she was a little like Elliot in that they didn't yield to anyone when they got this passionate. Leo gave in too easily.
"Now then, you two should spend as much time as you can together. You should give him some flowers as a present!" she declared, like it was the most brilliant idea in the world.
Leo raised a skeptical brow. "Flowers, Ada?" When she nodded, he leaned toward her and gestured out the window. "You want me to give flowers to a florist? You understand that I think that's a little...unoriginal, right? That's like giving a song to a musician, or a poem to a writer."
"It's because he's a florist that he'll appreciate the gesture," Ada explained brightly, emerald eyes sparkling. "Listen, have you ever given him flowers before?"
"Well, no," he admitted. "But that's only because that kind of present seemed redundant to me." He thought about how much Elliot had been, for lack of a better word, smothering him lately. What would it take for the blond to see he really did love him back, with all his heart? The words that Elliot murmured to him last night were still fresh in his mind, he remembered thinking with surprise that all that was exactly how he felt about the Nightray.
If giving him flowers would make him smile, then Leo would do what Ada suggested. "Okay, I'll do that. The hard part will be figuring out what kind of flowers to get him."
"Hmm? What do you mean?"
"Things like roses and carnations are way too cheesy," he explained with slight distaste. "And I'd be too embarrassed to give them to him, anyway." At that moment, the door to Le Papillon Floraison flew open and Elliot stepped out, a jacket over his work clothes. He knew that the raven was in the cafe waiting for him, and the fact made Leo want to smile.
Ada wiped her mouth with her napkin. "You're smart, Leo. I'm sure you'll think of something," she reassured, getting up.
The door to Persona rang like sleigh bells, announcing the arrival of a new customer. Leo stared intently at Elliot as he came over. A warm smile broke across Elliot's usually serious face, a smile he only gave to Leo. No doubt he already had something planned for the raven for Valentine's Day. This year, however, Leo would do something for him, too.
Well, he had two days. He'd have to get cracking if he wanted to impress a florist with flowers.
Most people didn't know that just about every flower had some special meaning attached to it. It was one of the reasons Leo didn't like traditional Valentine's Day flowers that much – their meanings were too generic and after years of use, the meaning of love seemed to fade out. The language of flowers was something he had picked up on after reading a book, incidentally the same book Elliot caught him reading when they first met.
"You know the language of flowers? That kind of...girly, isn't it? You work at a floral shop, too."
"You can't be accusing me of being the girly one here! Here you are reading a book on the subject!"
It came as no surprise to the raven that Elliot was still at work on Valentine's Day. He knew it was bound to happen, and told the blond that it was fine and that he didn't have to ask Vanessa for permission to get off early.
He waited outside the bookstore, thinking that maybe he should've picked a better place to wait. He hadn't exactly thought that far, too preoccupied thinking about how he was going to present the bouquet to Elliot and what was going to happen. He had never been so nervous in his life!
The lace-covered plastic holding the flowers together with a silky blue ribbon crinkled slightly as Leo adjusted his grip. He must've looked ridiculous just standing there with all these flowers, his unkempt hair tied back in what could be passed off as a ponytail. For once, he wasn't wearing his glasses that covered half his face. He felt weird, but also slightly confident – and he'd need as much of that as he could get.
He gulped, fingering a peony – one of its meanings was bravery. It was one of the flowers that he bought just because it reminded him of Elliot. The gladiolus, or "sword flowers", that sprung up from around the more delicate-looking blooms were also because of the blond. Elliot was nearly everything he wasn't, and it was because he was so strong and unyielding, so kind and genuine that Leo loved him so much.
And now he was going to show Elliot how much he loved him. It was impulsive and maybe even entirely irrational, but Leo didn't care. He wanted to do this, no matter how much his heart was pounding in his ears.
Suddenly he heard the sound of labored breaths and the irregular steps of someone in a hurry. Looking up, he nearly jumped when Elliot all but stumbled over to him, cheeks flushed and still wearing his uniform.
"What happened to you?" the raven asked with a raised brow.
Breathlessly, Elliot replied, "I only just escaped. I had Claude cover for me."
"Escaped?" laughed Leo, already feeling lighter. "Don't you like your job, Flower Boy?"
"And I keep telling you that your tongue will be your undoing one day," Elliot retorted with a light scowl as he loosened his collar. "Want to take a walk?"
Leo nodded, walking closely beside the blond as they made their way down the street. They traveled in comfortable silence, only for once Leo's mind was anything but quiet. Thoughts were buzzing in and out, led by fear and doubt and excitement – and love. Without thinking, Leo seized Elliot's wrist, leaning in and giving as long a kiss as he could in public to the corner of Elliot's lips. He knew that when he pulled back, he was blushing, but he tried to keep his usual air of nonchalance.
Elliot's blue eyes were wide in surprise, his fingers coming up to touch where Leo had kissed him. A smile slowly spread over his face. "Someone suddenly got in the spirit of the day," he said.
"Don't get your hopes up too high," deadpanned Leo, beginning to walk away. He froze when he felt a hand lightly brushing aside his bangs, tucking some of the locks behind his ear.
"What's the occasion?" the blond teased, tilting his head in an endearing way. "You're not wearing your glasses."
Leo batted his hand away, but gently. "There doesn't always have to be an occasion. I just..."
Elliot offered him a smile. "It's fine. I love it."
Ahh, he couldn't stand it any longer. He all but shoved the bouquet into Elliot's hands. "Here."
For a moment, the florist just stared at the blooms wrapped in lace and ribbon. "You got me flowers?" he asked slowly, like at any minute now he expected them to be nothing but an illusion.
"Problem with that?" the raven snapped, nearly bristling. Maybe Ada's idea wasn't such a good one after all. And if her idea ended up being bad, then that meant his own plan was insane. Leo watched the surprised expression on Elliot's face slowly melt into one of adoration. He listened as Elliot familiarly named each flower.
"Gardenias," he chuckled. "White ones mean secret love. I suppose that doesn't count anymore." He smirked and touched where Leo kissed him again. "White lilies – sweetness. Peonies, gladiolus. Delphinium..." He looked at Leo.
Blushing, the raven interpreted through an embarrassed murmur, "Transcending the bounds of space and time. I got the whitest ones I could find." He nodded towards the tinier blooms alongside the gladiolus. "The freesias are really just decoration."
"But why are they all white?" Elliot asked, tracing over one petal of a lily of the valley. His blue eyes fluttered down to identify the last two flowers in the bouquet. "Baby's breath." He blinked, turning his attention to the flowers that looked like they were made of frosting. "Stephanotis..." It was said slowly, and Leo knew that the Nightray had finally pieced it together.
He feigned innocence when Elliot stared at him. "What?"
Elliot fumbled over his words. "I, um..." He cleared his throat, loosening his collar more. "Leo, you know these flowers are, um...traditionally in a bride's bouquet when she gets married."
"That so." A statement, not a question, and Elliot was perceptive to it.
Holding out the bundle of flowers, the blond said slowly, "You gave me a wedding bouquet." Disbelief and confusion were plain in his tone and countenance.
"Indeed I did." Leo could only nod simply, afraid doing anything else would make him say something sarcastic like he always did.
Instead of spurring more questions, the raven was met with silence as a response. He saw Elliot open his mouth, but nothing came out. He made an amazed sound, blinking at the bouquet. Finally, he seemed to arrive at the words he wanted to speak. "Leo...are you trying to say something here? Because if not, I'd rather know now so we can, ahem, just move on or something..."
"No. It's...it's exactly what it looks like." Now the raven stopped again, leaving them at the entrance of one of the parks. He twirled a finger around a lock of his bangs. "I...I wanted...to prove that I...I really...love you. So, I got these for you. I knew what they meant and I knew you would know, too."
"So..." Elliot's fingers brushed against each white bloom as he thought. In the noon sunlight, they appeared bright and proud, much like a certain blond was in the eyes of Leo. "Is this a, uh..."
"I'm trying to say I love you, alright?" snapped the raven, face burning. "I want to spend forever or whatever the hell with you. I want you to be the only person who holds me. I want to be the only one that makes love with you. I want you to accept these damn flowers and put them in a nice vase when you get home, because they were damn well expensive!"
There was no way Elliot could've been more silent, or his eyes could've gotten any wider. Irritated, Leo shot up and stomped his foot on the ground. "Bloody hell, Elliot Nightray, do you want to marry me or not!" Then he did something that indicated that he had spent way to much time with the blond: he didn't want for an answer and just impulsively cupped his face and kissed him fully on the mouth.
At the entrance of the park were trellis on either side. Leo pressed Elliot against one of them, moving his lips firmly while he weaved his fingers through the soft blond hair, fisting it. Happiness and relief coursed through his body like a circuit when Elliot finally responded, wrapping his arms around Leo's small frame. He felt the warm light radiate not from the sun, but from Elliot's very being; his senses were filled with the scent of soil and life and fresh flowers.
They pulled away, but only barely, close enough that Elliot would speak with his lips rubbing seductively against Leo's, "You want me to be with you?" He laughed breathlessly, pressing his forehead onto the raven's. "I never thought that you'd..."
The sentence threw Leo off his passionate spell, and he pulled back, looking at his lover expectantly. "So what's your answer? I know I'm not the most perfect person to be in a relationship with," he admitted, looking down, "and I know I never let you know I love you as often as you'd like, but..." He took a deep breath."You're something in my life I never want taken away from me."
Elliot smiled, and looked down at his bouquet. "It's true you're not perfect. But if you were everything, if you were perfection to one person only..."
"Elliot, that'd be... That would be more than enough if..." He blushed. He's really going to make me say these things! He found himself fiddling with the buttons of his shirt nervously. "...if you were that person." His midnight-purple eyes glanced up. "You know you're really pushing this. And I still haven't gotten an answer. How is this fair, Elliot?"
The blond laughed, holding up his hands innocently. "Do you honestly expect me to say no?" Then he said the words that Leo had unconsciously been waiting for. Topped with one of Elliot's handsome smiles and his blue eyes shining, he said, "Yes. Yes, let's get married, Leo."
Suddenly the weight of what he had asked touched him, but it wasn't a bad feeling. There was freaking out, yes, a lot of freaking out mentally – but what made his spirit soar and heart swell...was boundless love. He hardly felt the tears sliding down his cheeks as he make small laughing sounds.
Automatically Elliot was by his side. "Don't cry, Leo," he said softly, wiping away the tears. The raven couldn't help it, though – he was just so, so happy... "It's so weird seeing you like this. I guess there are still some things I don't know about my own best friend."
"Shut up, idiot, there's no way you can know everything about me," Leo retorted half-heartedly, sniffing. "It'd take a lifetime to know all that."
Flowers were held up to him, each one the color of purest white. Elliot was grinning behind them. "Then it's good that we're getting married then, right?"
Rather than say anything, Leo kissed Elliot again, bumping them into the trellis once more, surrounding himself in sunlight and flowers. He wanted to give him happiness itself, wanted to feel his lips trace his skin, wanted to repeat 'I love you' everyday... Now he had the rest of their life together to do that. Leo Baskerville wasn't a romantic, but he thought the idea sounded pretty damn good.
Because it was all very much like that – loving someone, that is.
Ending A/N: How this fic came to be: I wanted to write a fic with a flustered Leo rather than Elliot. I think because of that, it added a certain challenge. Not to mention I was typing this thinking, "How the hell would a proposing scene play out with these damn characters?" -sigh- I knew from the start that a whole ring spiel would not do. So I thought, "Well, Leo will give him flowers."
LJRGJERGGLRTKHNW How unoriginal could I get? x_x Well, I didn't want roses, for much the same reason Leo didn't. So I researched traditional wedding bouquets - which was harder than I thought because apparently no one likes traditional weddings anymore... -grumbles-
But I think it worked out? :'D A review or critque would be a wonderful V-Day gift~!