Word count: ~1,400
Summary: Arthur thanks Eames for a wonderful weekend. He just doesn't use words.
Notes: For red_rahl, who is an absolute star, and a wonderful collaborator! Her boundless enthusiasm is like a ray of sunlight through the clouds, and I am delighted to be able to show my appreciation! <3 Sequel to Darling Buds of May, but can be read as a standalone. My regards to Master Shakespeare for the title.
It is not being a good day for him. To start off, it's Monday. Eames has never been particularly fond of Mondays, but a Monday following a whole weekend spent with Arthur is surely the blackest of days, because it means Arthur is no longer pottering around in Eames' kitchen, or reading a book on Ikebana in the original Japanese on Eames' sofa, or delightfully rumpled and sleepy when Eames wakes him up from an impromptu afternoon nap. Oh yes, it is a very unpleasant day indeed, and there are seven more hours before Eames can conceivably blow off his last meeting early and drive down to Penrose Flowers to annoy Arthur, until Arthur has had enough and drags him into the back room for a scolding (at least that's what Arthur thinks he's going to do when he gets Eames in there. Eames has other ideas).
He forces himself to stop thinking of Arthur wearing one of Eames' shirts and attempting to brew tea (Eames had regretfully had to disabuse him of the notion that he does it in any way well. And then console him with kisses). On the other hand, Arthur's coffee is spectacular. Yet another reason why Eames is aware of being very much Mister Grumpy today -- Arthur had had to leave very early indeed, which had meant no Arthur coffee for Eames this morning.
This 'not thinking about Arthur'? Really not going at all well. The meeting drones on and on, and Eames finds his attention not so much drifting as skiving altogether. His second-in-command rolls her eyes at him from across the table. Eames pouts at her.
"All right, all right," Mal says, soft French accent not at all concealing the fact that she's just as bored as her boss. "Thank you, Mr McCoy, I think we're done here. We'll take your points under advisement, of course. Someone will contact you shortly. Thank you for your time," she adds when the squeaky little man tries to carry on with his presentation. The man deflates, shakes their hands and makes for the door with his rolled-up blueprints tucked under one arm.
It's a useful product, and Eames doesn't doubt that he'll be hearing from Mal about it soon enough. Right now, though, he couldn't give less of a toss about new and improved structural support for large white screens.
Mal waits until the door closes after their prospective employee before turning to Eames and raising a single questioning eyebrow.
"Did someone perhaps run over your cat?" she enquires sweetly. Eames isn't fooled; when Mal pulls out that particular tone, someone is about to get their arse handed to them.
"I don't have a cat," he deflects dryly.
"Dog? Ferret? Goldfish?"
"How do you run over a goldfish?"
Mal sighs. "Eames, you are being deliberately obtuse."
Eames would normally have smirked, but his day shows no signs of improving, so he grimaces instead.
"You are sulking," Mal accuses.
"Am not," Eames--yes, all right, sulks.
"I thought things were going well with your Arthur?" Mal says, puzzled.
Eames feels himself brightening a little at the mention. Oh, god. He is so whipped.
"They are going well," he supplies wistfully. "They're going perfectly, in fact."
"So what is it?"
Eames feels caged, restless, so he jumps off his chair and starts pacing. "I don't know," he says, irritated.
Mal assesses him shrewdly, fingers resting together under her chin. "You miss him," she muses.
Eames stops dead in his tracks. Could it really be this simple? Is it just that he misses Arthur's nearness?
Mal, when Eames turns back to look at her, is smiling softly at him. "There's only the Wilson meeting before lunch, and I can more than handle that myself. Why don't you leave early? Go surprise him, whisk him away somewhere fancy. You'll feel better."
Eames beams at her; his day is suddenly looking a lot brighter.
"I think I shall do just that," he drawls. On his way out of the door he detours to drop a kiss to the top of Mal's head. "Thanks, love," he murmurs.
"Bring me back something pretty," she calls after him.
Eames only has one stop to make before he can leave -- he pops round to his office to grab his jacket and wallet. His mouth is open to ask Amanda to call for his car when he stops dead in his tracks just inside the door.
"Oh, Mr Eames, I meant to tell you -- these just arrived for you, about ten minutes ago?" Amanda supplies from her desk to his right, fingers never pausing in their typing.
"Thanks," Eames says faintly, staring at the small side table hugging the wall on the left.
There is a beautiful bouquet of flowers dwarfing the firm's biggest vase. Eames knows it's the biggest vase because he'd personally bought it and dragged it in all the way from the shop the second year after he took over, shortly after the twelfth time Amanda complained nothing was big enough. Yet this bouquet spills over the sides, a gorgeous cascade of roses and bellflowers; and the colours, they're overwhelming, like an explosion of joy right there in his office.
Eames' cheeks ache, and he abruptly realises he's smiling so hard his whole face strains to contain it. There's no card -- Eames checks twice, but really, there could be no doubt whom the flowers are from. There's only one florist Eames is (intimately) familiar with that can pull off all those colours and still make the arrangement look classy and stylish instead of tacky.
Eames loses a little time, staring down at the luscious blooms, inhaling the heady scent and thinking of Arthur taking the time to arrange every single stalk just right; he imagines the smile that must have been on Arthur's face throughout, and there's something bursting inside of him, something warm and a little achy and so strong his chest feels like it can hardly contain it.
It's okay. He gets the message.
And then something pings in his brain, because 'message', right, Arthur's not been the only one brushing up on his reading, and that particular book is still fresh in Eames' mind. Arthur had mocked, but symbols are extremely important in Eames' line of work; and besides, Arthur had known all of them by heart despite the teasing.
Let's see, now, let's see... That small bunch in the middle, unless Eames is very much mistaken those are Suntory Blue Roses. Last Eames heard, those were still experimental. God only knows what Arthur must have done to get hold of these; and rather than sell them, he'd sent them to Eames. Eames feels a little faint. Blue roses for -- 'love at first sight'? 'Attaining the impossible'? Okay, maybe it'll make sense in context. Now then, pink for... 'grace'? But that doesn't--no, hang on, those are dark pink roses, so--'gratitude'? Okay, gratitude, right. Now, red roses he knows stand for 'true love', but those are mixed with yellows, painstakingly arranged so that no two blooms are the same colour, so it can't be that simple...
He rounds the desk and pulls open his laptop, types into Google.
Roses: Red and yellow together -- joy, happiness and excitement.
Added to the bellflowers ('thinking of you')--
Oh, Arthur. Eames grins again and almost claps his hands in delight. It's the most elaborate "Thank you for a wonderful weekend" gesture he has ever had the pleasure of receiving; and it's so very Arthur -- he hadn't said a word, yet here's this thing, all but screaming Arthur's feelings to the world.
Eames' grin turns wicked.
"Amanda," he purrs into the intercom, "Call down for my car, please."
He has a florist to debauch.