Summary: Her scarf flies into Tom’s face and as if the awkwardness that followed wasn’t bad enough, he walks into her work too.
Pairings: Reader(?) x Tom Holland
Word count: 1.7k
Warnings: Some swearing.
A/n: Roses are really expensive, you guys. Who knew? But yeah, I don’t know how I feel about this piece tbh. Let me know what you think so I can make up my mind about whether I like it or not lol. And I know this one isn’t very Tom heavy but I promise my next one will be :D
The wind blew furiously today. She tugged her coat tighter around her and hunched her shoulders to protect her exposed ears from the chilly assault. Her face was numb; she couldn’t even feel the pain of the wind whipping her cheeks anymore. As she reached to grab the purse swinging wildly at her hip, a gust of wind caught the end of her scarf, blowing it behind her. Because it wasn’t wrapped around her neck, the force of the wind simply yanked it free, and suddenly her scarf was flying through the air.
She gasped and spun around trying to locate her neckwear. She caught sight of it zigzagging through imaginary obstacles. Its bright blue allowed her to track its path as she gave chase. She ducked and weaved past the people, finally coming to a halt as she witnessed her scarf get blown right around some poor, unsuspecting pedestrian’s face. She watched as they stopped mid-step, frozen for a millisecond but clambering to free themselves immediately. She rushed up to them, apologies on the tip of her tongue.
“I’m so sor– “
She cut herself off. Words simply left her brain as the stranger pulled the scarf down. Her mouth opening and closing like a goldfish.
Wow, you are gorgeous!
“Um… thank you?”
“You, uh, you said I was gorgeous,” she heard him say, registering the eloquent British accent.
As if he wasn’t stunningly attractive, he had to sound like that?
How is that fair?
“How is what fair?”
The perplexed expression on his face pulled her out of her reverie.
“You said ‘How is that fair?’ What were you referring to?” he repeated.
I said that out loud?
“Yeah, you did,” he said, puzzlement becoming bemusement.
“I – I was referring to… Um, see, what I meant was –,” she scrambled to come up with an excuse. Her mind failing her, she shifted her gaze to the floor, a blush creeping up her face.
An agonising, awkward silence followed.
“Uh, anyway…,” his smile faltered, the odd conversation losing its charm.
“Here’s your scarf,” he said as he looped it around her neck. “Now you won’t lose it, again.”
Pursing his lips together in a polite smile, he moved past her and continued on his way. She stood there, dumbstruck.
What just happened?
She turned around, catching a glimpse of his slicked-back curls.
“Thank you!” she called out. He kept walking though, not hearing her.
The bell on the corner of the door rang as she opened it.
“Morning,” her friend called, not looking up from her flower arrangement. “We got to get that Truscott Gala order done by four today. Are you okay to work register while I work on that?”
“Oh, morning, Stel,” she responded, coming out of her thoughts. She had been replaying her brief encounter with the pretty, British man in her head, feeling more and more stupid each time.
“Yeah, yeah, of course,” she said, pulling off her coat and exchanging it for her apron. She kept the scarf on.
“What’s up with you?” her friend finally looked up, giving her a questioning look.
Crossing the too-long apron strings, she pulled them in front of her and tied a bow.
“You would not believe what an idiot I am, Stel,” she replied.
“I would, but go on,” her friend prompts.
“I was walking to work today and you know how it was really windy? Well, my scarf blew away and it landed on this guy’s face,” she recounted as she walked over to the window, flipping the ‘Closed’ sign to the ‘We’re Open’ side.
“And Stel, oh my god, this guy was so hot. Like, crazy, too-beautiful-to-be-real, smoking, kind of hot. And –,” she paused, “He was British!”
“Let me guess. You totally embarrassed yourself, right? Am I right?” her friend guessed.
Sighing in defeat, she looked at her friend. “Yes.”
“Oh, it was so bad. The first thing I said to him was ‘Wow, you’re gorgeous’. I mean, what kind of creep says that to a stranger they literally just met?”
“I know,” she cried. “It just got more awkward from there, and I think he got a little freaked out because I was being so weird.”
“But then he did the sweetest thing. He wrapped the scarf around my neck and goes ‘Here’s you scarf, now you won’t lose it again’,” she finished, imitating his accent. She snuggled into the scarf, recalling the way he had leaned in to place it around her. She could still vaguely remember his cologne, something classy and subtle.
“Okay, you weirdo, you can keep dreaming about all the different ways you should have handled that situation, later,” Stel pulled her back to the world. “Right now I need you on the register, paying attention. I’m going to the back to finish these flower arrangements. Call if you need anything.”
With that, Stel collected her tools and tulips and disappeared into the back room.
Smiling at her friend’s words, she went about preparing for the day ahead.
“Have a lovely afternoon,” she handed the bouquet of carnations to the man, just as the doorbell chimed again.
Her eyes scanned the small shop, looking to see who she would next offer her help to when she spotted the newcomer. His back was to her but she recognised his slicked-back brown curls. She froze.
“Oh no,” she whispered under her breath. She quickly ducked beneath the counter, trying to think of an escape route. She whipped her head left and right, racking her brain for a solution. Stel was in the back, if she could just get her attention, she could make her deal with him instead. He wouldn’t even have to know she was here.
Dropping to her hands and knees, she slowly crawled across the floor towards the doorway connecting the shopfront to the back room. It was situated several feet to the left. Keeping against the wall, she prayed he wouldn’t notice her when she was no longer hidden by the counter. As she reached the edge of her protective wall, she hesitated before taking a deep breath and continuing out into the open.
“Please don’t see me, please don’t see me,” she muttered. She was almost there, only a few more inches.
Hearing the familiar voice behind her, she squeezed her eyes shut.
She inhaled and stood. Her back straight and chin up, she pumped herself to turn around and face him. There was nothing else she could do at this point. This was it; she had to answer to the humiliation.
But then at the last possible second, she squeaked, “Be right back,” and darted through the doorway.
Leaning against the wall, out of sight, she exhaled.
Phew, that was close.
“What are you doing?”
“Jesus, Stel! You scared me,” she whisper-yelled, hand over her heart.
Stel raised her eyebrow at her.
“Shit, Stel, it’s the guy! The British guy from this morning, he’s out there right now.”
She peeped around the doorframe. He was looking at the roses.
“What? Where? Let me see,” Stel exclaimed, scrambling to peer into the shop as well.
“Shh, he’ll hear you.”
“Oh man, you weren’t kidding. He is gorgeous.”
“Right?” she asked in agreement.
“Well get out there.”
“What? Are you insane?”
“No… now’s your chance to go show him you aren’t a total weirdo and get his number,” she stated, matter-of-factly. When she was met with an astonished expression, she nodded her head in encouragement.
“I don’t think –,” she began to protest but Stel shoved her out the door and into the shop. Her stumble caused him to turn towards her. She glared back at Stel before putting on her best customer service smile and walking behind the counter once more.
She could see the recognition dawning on his face and she cursed mentally. She was hoping he wouldn’t remember her but clearly he did. She could sense Stel in the other room, waiting to hear his reaction. She prepared herself for the worst.
“May I get a dozen red roses, please?”
Wait, maybe he didn’t recognise her after all.
“A dozen red roses?” he repeated, “Please.”
He really didn’t remember her.
She moved to where the roses were located, stepping past him. She caught a whiff of his cologne and was surprised to realise she was disappointed. He was probably buying the roses for his girlfriend. Why would he remember some random girl he met in the street when he already has a beautiful one to buy a dozen red roses for?
Picking out twelve of the best flowers, she returned to the counter. She bunched them into a bouquet, very aware of him watching her. She suddenly felt very warm, uncomfortably warm. Placing the roses down on the countertop, she unravelled her scarf. She put it by the register and continued the order.
Tying the bow, she looked up at him and plastered a smile on her face.
“That’ll be $38.95,” she said.
They completed the transaction and she handed him the bouquet.
“Have a lovely day!”
“Thanks, you too.”
He took the flowers and walked out the shop. She watched him go, sadness overcoming her. Stel came out and stood beside her.
“Man, I can’t believe he didn’t remember you.”
She began to clear away the scraps and cut-offs. Hearing the bell chime again, she looked up to greet the new customer. Her fake cheeriness dropped, replaced by shock, when she saw who it was.
“My mum won’t mind if I only give her eleven roses.”
He held out a single red rose, one she had wrapped into his bouquet, only moments ago. He also held the receipt, on it was scribbled some numbers.
She looked at him, bewildered. She tentatively reached out and took the rose and piece of paper.
“I – I thought you didn’t –,” she stammered.
“How many cute girls are there in this town who wear bright blue scarves?” he grinned.
Then he left. She was dumbfounded. She looked down at the receipt in her hand. There was a name alongside the number.