Here is my CSSS gift for the lovely youseetherealme, who wanted to read a florist/tattoist AU. I finally went for tattoist!Killian and florist!Emma. This is also a soulmate!AU in which you see the world in black and white until your soulmate comes into your life, a burst of colour among the dull crowds. And once you touch your soulmate, the whole world comes alive. [AO3]
Warnings: mentions of Liam. I read ’don’t dare to mention the Jones Brothers’ on your about page and I couldn’t help it eheh.
Word count: ~2k
As I told you, the last two weeks have been crazy because of mid-terms and projects, but I tried my best! I really hope you like it ;v; I had so much fun being your secret pirate reindeer (I loved your reaction when I told you I spoke Catalan hahaha), I’m going to follow you now!
Bon Nadal!! ♡♡
Forget-me-nots on my Skin (Forevermore)
Some said England was blue, some said it was gold. For Killian, England was grey, safe and home. But when the light in Liam’s eyes faded, the rooms felt too cold, so he left for the unknown with some clothes in his suitcase and a one-way ticket for New York. He would have followed Liam till the ends of the earth, he had promised as a lad, but suddenly his brother was gone, and he had been left with nothing but a broken promise and haunting memories hidden in the walls and the streets that had seen them grow. He had felt the urge to leave. He had felt the urge to escape.
Starting his life all over again had been the easiest part – he had soon managed to rent a small flat at a reasonable price (and thank God for that, because the mattress of the crappy motel room he had been staying at was so hard that he had started to consider sleeping on the floor), and he had even got back to work. He had come across a tattoo studio seeking an experienced tattoo artist, and as soon as he had showed his portfolio, the owner (a man in his late 30s named Robin) had hired him. Robin, lucky him, could take care of full-colour tattoos, so he would help another guy named Will with black and grey designs.
Getting used to living that new life without Liam, though, had been hell – the loss still surreal, the wound still too fresh. So during his first month in that city he knew nothing of, he had worn his brother’s leather jacket, both as a reminder and as an armour.
Giving up is bad form, Liam had told him once. He had to keep going.
- / -
Emma often had great ideas. Like that time she had ordered a bunch of oversized sweaters for winter – they had cost her an arm and a leg, but they were so comfy and warm, so yes, it had been a great idea. Or like that other time she had wrapped herself up like a burrito, turned her phone off and spent the whole day in bed watching Netflix. Agreeing on helping Mary Margaret with her flower shop, though, had been the worst idea she had ever had. She had never been a flower person. Hell, she could not even see colours, just shades of grey. How was she actually supposed to help? But she had to pay the rent, and her friend was right – it would help her to take her mind off the Neal debacle.
They had known since the very beginning that they were not meant to be, that they were not soulmates, but they had thought that maybe they could still be perfectly happy anyway. Time had proved them wrong. (Neal had proved her wrong, the jerk.) She had wondered, then, if she would ever be enough, if she would ever find the kind of love Mary Margaret and David had. (She remembers listening to her friend talk about colours when they were 17 and she had just kissed David for the first time. She had told her that yellow was warm and bright, just like sun. Red was intense, red was love and anger. Blue was calm, like a cloudless sky, like the ocean Emma dreamed of as a child. It is beautiful, Emma, Mary Margaret had said.
Deep down, Emma still wanted to see it all.)
- / -
The first time it happens, he is all alone in the studio, looking absent-mindedly out of the shop window – he has only been working there for a month, but Robin already trusts him enough to let him close.
It is blinding, beautiful, and brief. So brief that he thinks he has just imagined things. He has heard and read about colours, of course he has, but not even a million words could have prepared him for this. It leaves him speechless and warms his heart the same way a ray of sunshine warms one’s cheeks on a summer day.
He leaves the studio in haste, hoping to catch a glimpse of that vibrant ponytail again, but he sees nothing. Just dull streets deprived of colours. She is nowhere to be found and his heart sinks. He desperately wants to look for her, he needs to do it, but he cannot (Robin would kill him), and bloody hell, what if they never cross paths again.
Later that night, he dreams of her, bare back and golden hair in a sea of nothing.