"I work as a florist and every day you walk in , buy one flower and give it to me" AU because yesterday I realised you were one of my favorite stucky writers!
Steve meets Bucky Barnes on Valentine’s Day, because God has a particularly cruel sense of humor.
“You’re charging /how much/ for roses?” the man — later revealed as Bucky Barnes — asks.
“It’s Valentine’s Day,” Steve says as an explanation, then sighs as he rings the man up on the cash register. “Don’t worry, your sweetheart will like them anyway.”
The man snorts.
“What?” Steve asks.
“Not for my sweetheart, for my sister. She’s in high school, and this asshole guy’d been leading her on for months, and all we could do was watch while she pined after this little fuck. Meanwhile, this guy’s having her edit his essays, drive him places… You know, the shit that asshole high school guys do when they’re going on a power trip. Anyhow, yesterday he asks out this girl right in front of my sister, asks her if she’s happy for him, which of course she’s not. She gets home, my mom calls me, and we hang out and watch rom coms together, and that’s when we come up with the plan.”
“The plan?” Steve asks, leaning in a little closer.
The guy smiles, almost sheepishly. “Her math teacher is a friend of mine from undergrad, so I call him up. These flowers, a few cards, and a big ol’ box of chocolates are gonna be on her desk.”
“Lemme guess, the asshole sits next to her?”
He grins. “Indeed, he does.”
“She’s in on it, right?”
He nods. “‘Course, it’d be weird if she wasn’t. She’s gonna tell everyone that they’re from her overnight camp boyfriend or something, who has been begging to get back together with her. I dunno, she’s got the whole thing set up, but she promises me that it’s gonna make this jack ass jealous, and that’s the important thing.”
Steve laughs. “Yeah, it is,” he says. “Bet your girlfriend is jealous, too,” Steve asks, and okay. He’s fishing a bit.
The guy raises an eyebrow. “Actually, I’m single right now,” he says. “I’ve got all these grand romantic gestures stored up with no outlet. It’s a real problem.”
“What a problem to have,” Steve says. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten flowers on Valentine’s Day, in any context. And that’ll be $42.88.”
“Ouch,” the guy says as he inserts his debit card into the chip reader. “I’m Bucky, by the way.”
“Steve,” Steve says, then adds, “but you probably could’ve gathered that from the name tag.”
Bucky chuckles. “Thanks Steve,” he says as he takes his card out and puts it in his wallet.
“No problem,” Steve says, handing the flowers over to Bucky. “And good luck with your grand gesture.”
“Thanks,” he says, taking the flowers. He pauses, and pulls a rose out of the bunch. “Here,” he says, handing it to Steve.
“What?” Steve asks.
Bucky moves it a little closer to Steve. “A flower. Happy Valentine’s Day, Steve.”
“Oh, uh…” Steve says, taking it. “Thanks,” he says, a little lost for words.
“You’re welcome,” Bucky says. “Though it’s not quite a grand romantic gesture.”
Steve shrugs, trying not to blush. “It’s sweet,” he says.
Bucky just smiles and leaves the store.
He comes back in the next day. “One tulip,” he says, bringing a yellow tulip up to the counter.
“Sure thing,” Steve says, then asks, “How’d the gesture go?”
“Perfectly,” Bucky says. “By the end of the day, he was telling her that he regretted everything, and she was telling him that she’s too good for him.”
Steve can’t help but smile. “Good to know, and that’s $4.21.”
Bucky pays with his debit card. “Yeah, gotta focus my energies elsewhere now,” he says.
“Good luck with that,” Steve says, handing him the flower.
“Thanks,” Bucky says, then hands the tulip back to Steve. “Enjoy the flower!” he says, before leaving the store.
Steve stands there, eyebrows furrowed, looking at the flower in his hand. “What?” he mutters to himself.
It keeps happening.
Bucky comes in, he buys a flower — a different one every day — and hands it to Steve. If he doesn’t come in, he orders one online with the direction “give to Steve, please.”
“This is ridiculous,” Steve says after a month.
“I’m supporting a local, independently-run business,” Bucky responds as he hands Steve an amaryllis. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“You’re ridiculous,” Steve amends, but he takes the flower anyway.
He’s started keeping them in his apartment as a mismatched, ever-changing arrangement. When a flower starts to wilt, he presses one of the petals and keeps it in a little book.
He sort of loves it.
He also sort of loves Bucky, but that’s a different story.
They get to know each other, even though they just talk for a few minutes a day. Bucky is an architect who lives a few blocks away and passes by the flower shop on the way to work. He spends a lot of time with his mom and his sister (his dad isn’t in the picture), and he likes cheesy movies but not cheese — he’s lactose intolerant.
“We have that in common,” Steve says.
“Then it’s a good thing that I’m giving you flowers and not chocolates,” Bucky says as he hands him a peony.
Steve takes it and gives it a sniff. He really does like the smell of peonies. “What’s your endgame here?” Steve asks. “It’s been four months.”
Bucky shrugs, smiling. “Dunno,” he says. “I honestly don’t. I just wanted you to have fun.” He pauses and shoves his hands in his pockets. “If it gets annoying—“
“It’s not,” Steve says, too quickly. “It’s not annoying,” he says.
Bucky looks up, smiling. “Alright then,” he says.
“See you tomorrow?” Steve asks.
Bucky nods. “See you tomorrow.”
When Bucky walks into the shop on Valentine’s Day, his face lights up.
“Steve?” he asks, looking at the flower arrangement in the middle of the shop and the accompanying valentine, made from the dried petals of 365 flowers.
“I thought you could use a gesture,” Steve says. “And a date for tonight?” he adds on, hopeful.
“Are these…?” Bucky asks.
“The flowers, I saved a petal from each one.”
“Oh my God,” Bucky says, looking down and biting his bottom lip. “I’m gonna have to step up my game if we’re gonna start going out,” he says.
“So that’s a yes?” Steve asks.
Bucky nods. “Yeah,” he says. “That’s a yes.”