|So I heard people wanted to read this..?
||[Mar. 28th, 2010|01:50 pm]
Title: Firemen and Flowers--Part 1/4 so far and many more to go
Authors: dani_in_japan as Alfred and chiachiaamichan as Matthew
Rating: G/PG/idk but nothing that really needs rating happens
Summary: In this part we have their first meeting, and their first "date" if you can really call it that
Notes: I spent a good part of my day editing this yesterday. I shouldn't ever let the log get to 40 pages without doing such things in the future. Also massive props to redkittychan for suggesting the basic premise of this story which has now reached what I consider epic proportions and still has a long way to go~
Alfred sighed as he walked across the street to the new flower shop that had opened up. How convenient that it did, just as his relationship was going to hell. This was his last ditch effort to try and please Natalya. Nothing else seemed to be working, but hey, girls liked flowers, right? He wasn't sure why he was trying so hard. He certainly didn't feel much of anything when he was with her. He figured that was all poetic BS anyway though.
Matthew immediately perked up when he heard the bells that had been hung inside the door jingle. Business had been slow since they had opened, and although his family had been trying to get the word about their small shop out, they had yet to see a significant increase in customers. He was determined to make a sale to this customer, and make sure he was entirely satisfied with whatever purchase he could be persuaded to make. "Welcome to Fleurs D'amour, how can I help you?"
Alfred inwardly groaned. He hated salespeople in general. They never actually gave a damn about what he was looking for. He sighed and looked over at the one who had addressed him and blinked a few times. Beautiful. It was the first word that came to mind. "I, uh..." Why had he come here again?
Matthew gave the man standing before him a quick once-over, taking in the handsome if carelessly dressed exterior and somewhat lost expression, and immediately making the assumption that he wasn't there shopping for himself. He immediately switched to the charming smile his papa had spent months teaching him, and stepped out from behind the counter. "Are you looking for a gift for somebody? Perhaps a birthday present or a get-well-soon wish?"
Alfred blinked out of his thoughts as the approaching man continued talking to him. A gift? Oh right. He was here for one of those. "...It's for my girlfriend. A 'I don't really like you that much, but I have nothing better and don't want to be alone, so don't leave me' gift...I guess."
Matthew paused for a moment, taking that in. He had met people who wanted to send a variety of messages through their bouquets in the past, so this wasn't particularly new but...there was just something different about this one, about this man and what he was asking for. "Perhaps something pretty but simple then...how much do you think your girlfriend knows about the language of flowers?"
Alfred blinked, thinking of Natalya. They had been together for almost a year now, and he didn't really know anything about her - except that she was good in bed. He groaned, rubbing his forehead, then pinching the bridge of his nose. "I guess a little. Her sister likes them? I think."
“Hmm...you think?" Maybe this wouldn't be as easy as Matthew had hoped. "Why don't you pick something that appeals to you, and I'll tell you if you're sending her an appropriate message?"
Alfred nodded a bit and started to look through the various flowers the store had. He chewed on his lip lightly as he did. "So...uh. You guys just opened, right? I'm right across the street from you, actually." He wasn't sure why he felt the need to say that.
Matthew nodded. "We've been opened for a week now, although business hasn't been as good as we would have hoped...across the street you said? You work at the fire station?"
Alfred nodded as he opened a refrigerator section, pulling out a rose. It was white, but the tips of the petals were red. He thought it looked pretty cool, for a flower. "Yeah, I'm a fireman. I'm off-duty today though. To be honest, if I didn't see this place every day while you guys were getting ready to open, I may not have thought of it. Most people don't think of flowers when it's not a gift-giving holiday." He brought the rose over to Matthew, and couldn't help but think that it suited him better than it would Natalya. "Something like this."
Matthew took the flower from him gently. "A rose with both the colors red and white means unity. If you would like to ask your girlfriend to stay with you then something like..." He paused, looking around and through the refrigerators full of flowers for something that would send the message that this man wanted to stay with his girlfriend. He found something, and stepped toward the appropriate case, pulling the door open and taking one of the flowers from its water tub. "Something like the blue hyacinth. This means constancy, so a bouquet of these with your roses would ask her to stay with you."
Alfred nodded, looking at the flowers together, then at the man holding them up to him. He wished he hadn't been getting flowers for his girlfriend. Flowers didn't really suit her, but him? He could see himself giving a similar batch of flowers to him, watching as he flushed furiously while blushing ever so slightly. All he could do was nod dumbly that yes, he would like a bouquet made.
Matthew reached back into the refrigerator, pulling out a few more of the hyacinths, then crossed the store to the rose case and began pulling out a few of the fuller blooms. When he felt that he had a sufficient number, enough to make a beautiful bouquet and still stay at a decent price, he walked back to the counter and began arranging them. After adding a few sprigs of baby's breath and fern fronds when he was finished, he wrapped the flowers in a clear plastic sheet and tied them at the bottom. "Was that all you needed?"
Alfred nodded and reached for his wallet. Right. He was buying these for Natalya. Why was he doing that again? "So...do you work here often...?" Wow, Al. What a great way to start a conversation with someone. Really.
Matthew typed the price of the bouquet into the register and waited for it to calculate the total price with tax. "I'm here most of the time. My family owns the shop, and as I have the greatest amount of free time, I choose to spend it working here."
Alfred smiled a bit more brightly than he intended to. "So then...if I came back another time, you'd probably be here?"
Matthew read off the price the register displayed to him, then looked up to be quite thoroughly dazzled by the smile of the man buying flowers from him. He actually had to collect his suddenly-flustered thoughts for a moment before he could reply. "Ah...I most likely would be."
Alfred's smile softened to something more comfortable as he set the money down on the counter. "Well, then until next time. Oh, I'm Alfred, by the way. ...It was nice to meet you!" Before the florist had a chance to realize what was happening, he turned, leaving without his change.
Ah--wait!" Matthew tried to call after him, to tell the man--Alfred?--that he had left several dollars worth of change behind, but he was out the door and not even bothering to turn and look before Matthew even had the register open. Matthew pulled out what he should have gotten in return, and stared at it for a few moments, before finally deciding that he was going to put it aside and make sure Alfred got it back the next time he visited.
The next time he visited came two days later, around noon. Alfred found it strange, wiping remaining sweat and soot from his face after a particularly rough morning that he was doing so as he made his way across the street to the flower shop.
Matthew, unfortunately, was helping a man put together a bouquet for his daughter’s birthday when he heard the bells jingle, and couldn't help the next customer immediately. He helped the man to write a personalized note and place it amongst the flowers, then helped him pay and sent him on his way before finally getting a chance to see who was visiting this time. He smiled warmly, prepared to greet them, but the words died on his lips when he saw just who it was. "You're back!"
Alfred looked over, still wiping off his neck as the clerk addressed him. He blinked a few times, bewildered, before smiling. "I said I would be!"
“I know, I've been waiting." Matthew scrabbled around the desk, looking for that one specific drawer--and found it! He pulled out the money that had been left behind before, and held it out with a smile. "This is yours. You forgot it the last time you were here."
Alfred blinked a few times as he looked at the money. Oh right. "Ah...thanks..." He took the money, counting it. Hm. He must have left a bigger bill than he realized. Well, then. Extra money in his pocket. He looked up at the clerk. "...Have you had lunch yet?"
Matthew shook his head. "Not yet. Papa said he was going to come and watch the shop for a bit so I could take a break, but I never know exactly how long 'a bit' is for him."
Alfred snickered a bit. "My old man is the same way. Well...my shift is done for the day, so I'm in no rush." He looked around at the buckets of flowers that were near the counter.
Shift was done...no rush...Matthew suddenly had a sinking feeling. "I've spent perhaps ten minutes talking to you, did you really just ask me to lunch?"
Alfred blinked and just looked over at him. "Well...yeah."
Matthew frowned. "....is there some particular reason for this invitation?"
Alfred blinked a few more times. "Uhm, I suddenly have extra money and you seem pretty cool to talk to and you haven't had lunch yet."
"....okay. I'll pay for my own share though..." Matthew looked around Alfred as the door opened again. "Ah, Papa, you're back!"
Alfred nodded and shrugged a bit then glanced over his shoulder as the man who was clearly the clerk's father walked in. He just nodded a bit to him as he waited.
Matthew smiled at his father as he approached, and began to recite a short list of the morning's events as his father pulled on the apron that was the only uniform requirement of the shop. Matthew finished it his list by adding that he was going out to lunch with Alfred, and he took his apron off to hang it where his father's previously had. "I'll be going then Papa, take care while I'm out."
Alfred nodded a bit to the man the clerk called Papa, who gave him a knowing look before turning to head out of the shop.
Matthew walked around the desk and followed Alfred out of the shop. Once out the door he increased his steps so that he was walking beside the man instead of behind him. "So...where are we going?"
Alfred looked over his shoulder at the clerk and smiled a bit. "There's an awesome diner about 3 blocks from here. Have you been there?"
Matthew searched through his mind for the names of all the nearby diners, and found himself drawing a blank. "Ah...what is it called?"
Alfred groped for the name. "The Sand Castle."
"....the Sand Castle?" It sounded like an odd name for a restaurant, but Alfred probably knew the area better than he did. "I can't say I've even heard of it."
Alfred nodded a bit. "It's kinda one of those hidden jewels of the town. Not a lot of people know about it, but those who do love it."
Matthew smiled. "Well then, I'm glad you've decided I'm worth sharing it with."
Alfred smiled and nodded a bit. "Well, sure you are...uh....uhm...."
“Oh--ah, Matthew. I'm Matthew." Had he really not said that before? Matthew thought back, and realized that he hadn't.
“Ah, Matthew...It suits you." Alfred smiled a bit as he walked. "Thanks for helping me out the other day, by the way."
Matthew shrugged. "It's my job. Did your girlfriend like the flowers?"
Alfred scratched the back of his neck. "I guess so. I mean...it's..." He sighed. "I don't really know. She wasn't home. Her sister took them and said she would give them to her. I haven't heard from her..."
“Oh...I'm sorry to hear that..." Matthew mulled it over for a moment. "We could send her another one, if you'd like."
Alfred shook his head. "Nah...It's a shit relationship anyway."
“I suppose it's your decision in the end, eh?" Matthew shook his head, offering a somewhat sad smile as if it would work for some sort of consolation. "I am sorry to hear that it hasn't worked out though."
Alfred shrugged a bit. "Well, it's like I said the other day. I'm just with her because I don't want to be alone. But...that's a terrible reason to stay with someone."
Matthew shrugged. "I'm afraid I have to agree with you. You should be with someone because you want to be, not because you simply want to avoid being alone."
Alfred nodded. "Besides, I've been....questioning...a lot about myself lately."
“Oh?" Matthew almost immediately blushed and looked away. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't pry about such things. We barely know each other."
Alfred smiled. "Hey, what better reason to go to lunch than to get to know each other, right?" He walked up to the diner and opened the door, letting Matthew go in first.
“Oh, thank you," Matthew walked in the door and looked around for where to go, because although it was set up like a typical diner, they each had their own little nuances. So he stepped to the side and waited for Alfred to join him.
Alfred nodded and headed inside, winking at the hostess as he took two menus and went over to his usual table; a small secluded booth in the back corner of the restaurant. The hostess rolled her eyes at his blatant ignoring of the 'Wait to be Seated' sign and gave Matthew a smile after giving him a once over.
Matthew threw a smile back at the waitress, and quickly followed Alfred to the table he had seated himself at. Sliding into the seat across from him, he reached across to take one of the menus. "Come here often then?"
Alfred nodded a bit. "Actually, when I'm working, this is usually where I eat. They are open 24 hours, so all my shifts are covered."
Matthew nodded. "That would be an important factor in finding a favorite diner with a job like yours, I suppose."
Alfred nodded a bit. "Yeah, pretty much." He glanced at the menu for a second before closing it as the waitress came to take their drink orders. "Just a black coffee."
Matthew glanced up at the waitress. "I'll have a coffee with cream and sugar please." He looked back down at the menu, not sure what to have for his lunch.
Alfred waited for the waitress to come back with their coffee and leave again before speaking. He took a sip of his coffee, wincing slightly at the burn on his tongue then looked up at Matthew. "So..." Wow. His conversational skills had really gone downhill since Natalya.
Matthew waited for his coffee to cool a bit before picking it up, and peeked over the top of his menu at Alfred. "So...uh, what would you suggest for food?"
Alfred thought for a moment. "They have amazing waffles here."
Matthew looked the menu over again. "How about the pancakes?"
Alfred nodded a bit. "Same thing. Oh man, they are like...heaven on earth."
Matthew smiled. "I'll have to try them then. See if they're as good as mine."
Alfred blinked. "Oh, you make good pancakes, too?"
Matthew ducked behind his menu again. "Well...I think they're pretty good, at least."
Alfred grins. "Well, if you'd like an impartial judge..."
Matthew lifted his head above the menu again. "Maybe sometime, if you'd like."
Alfred grinned. "I have another day off coming up on Friday."
Matthew offered a tentative smile in return. "I think I can arrange something then."
Alfred smiled. "I'll make sure I keep my whole day open then. So...what do you do in your free time, Matthew?"
Matthew closed his menu and laid it on the table next to him. "I um...well, I cook, and Papa is French so I do learn a lot from him...I play hockey and uh...I don't know, I spend a lot of my time working these days..."
Alfred nodded a bit. "Really? That's cool. I used to play sports all the time. But I get such crazy hours, it's hard to find anyone that is free to hang out anymore. Do you like movies? Concerts?"
“I uh...I suppose. I am rather easy to please when it comes to entertainment, but like I said I don't have much time to go out these days...and because the business is new money is rather scarce at the moment..." Matthew shrugged.
Alfred nodded a bit. "Well, it seems like business has been picking up though."
Matthew nodded. "It needs to pick up a little more before we'll break even though. Hopefully it won't take too long to get to that point..."
Alfred nodded thoughtfully. "So, you know a lot about flowers, huh?"
Matthew smiled. "Everything I know I learned from my Papa, and he knows so much more than I do."
Alfred nodded a bit. "You mention your Papa a lot. What about your mom?"
“Ah...Mama died when I was young. I don't remember much about her honestly..." Matthew glanced down at the table, but just as quickly pulled his gaze back up to meet Alfred's again. "Papa has tried meeting someone else, but nothing has worked out. It's just been me and him for the longest time."
Alfred's eyes softened as he looked over his coffee at him. "My mom died not too long, too. About 3 months ago, actually. She was sick for a long time though." He sipped his coffee and looked up at the waitress, ordering his waffles.
Matthew followed Alfred's order with one of pancakes for himself. He waited until the waitress had left again, before turning back to his companion. "I'm sorry for your loss. It's hard losing loved ones...I can't imagine life without my Papa here."
Alfred nodded a bit. "Thankfully I still have Dad...and...arguably Natalya...but..." He shook his head.
“Well...I think unless you decide to break up with her, she can be counted as being there for you." Matthew shrugged, unsure of what else he could say in the situation.
Alfred shook his head as he finished his coffee, setting the mug at the side for the waitress to refill on her next trip by the table. "I think I am. I never really felt anything, and I'm sure that she is the same way. Actually...she has this weird obsession with her brother."
“With her brother? That's um....interesting..." Matthew took a sip from his still half-full mug of coffee and glanced over the rim at Alfred. "So ah, how about you? What are your hobbies?"
“I like video games." Alfred waited as the waitress came over, refilling his coffee and setting down a container of syrup. "And movies. Not horror movies, though. Uhm, I like sports. Actually, since Mom got sick, I had to pick up the cooking at home, because Dad would die if he had to cook for himself. He's terrible. So...I like cooking too."
“Are you any good?" Matthew asked, immediately coughing and looking down into his coffee cup. "At cooking, I mean?"
Alfred shrugged a bit. "I guess so? I mean, it's only me and Dad eating it. And neither of us has died, and when you're comparing it to burnt and charred monstrosities..."
Matthew winced, but nodded sympathetically. Having a French father, he hadn't been exposed to that thing known as "bad food" outside of his home, but he had heard stories... "That is always a good sign."
Alfred nodded. "I like to think so." He sipped his coffee. "I mean, if you ever want to take the risk..."
"....of eating your cooking or your father's? It can't possibly be that bad." Matthew laughed, setting his nearly empty cup at the edge of their table. "I suppose this means I must invite you to eat with my Papa and me in return."
“Oh, mine. Definitely mine. There should be a law against anyone eating Dad's cooking, if there isn't already." Alfred smiled as he leaned back in his seat. "That'd be cool though. Maybe we can just like...have a BBQ or picnic or something, and then like...we can both just make something."
“That sounds like a lot of fun," Matthew replied, leaning forward to rest his elbows on the table. "I'll talk to Papa about it."
Alfred smiled as he watched him lean forward. He was so much more eloquent in his movements that Alfred could ever hope to be. No. That wasn't it. He was just beautiful to watch, to look at. It took him a moment to realize he was staring and he shook his head. "Ah yeah...I'll talk to Dad."
Matthew blinked, wondering what that reaction had been in relation to, but decided it was probably nothing worth pursuing. "So..."
Alfred cleared his throat. "So, you uh...you just opened the shop? Did you just move here, or have you been here a while? I've never seen you around before..."
"Oh um, Papa and I lived in a different part of the city, but we just moved here when we bought the shop. Ah...we haven't been living in the country for more than a few years though..." Matthew shrugged at this. "Have you been here long?"
Alfred grinned. "I was born in the UK, but we moved here when I was like, 3."
“The UK? I'm from France originally, although technically I was born while my parents were vacationing in Canada, so I'm a citizen of that country as well." Matthew smiled. "And now I live in the United States. Those are strange circumstances, aren't they?"
Alfred grinned a bit. "From all over Europe just to meet here, huh?"
Matthew nodded. "America does seem to have that effect, doesn't it?"
Alfred nodded as the waitress brought out their food. "Yeah, seems that way."
Matthew looked down at the stack of pancakes in front of time, and decided that they looked pretty good. He then turned to the bottle of syrup that had been placed on the table between them. "Is that real?"
Alfred snickered a bit as he picked it up, dumping it on his waffles. "At a diner? Not likely."
“Wonderful." Matthew took the bottle when it was offered to him, and poured a fairly liberal amount over his pancakes. "I'll admit to being something of a maple syrup snob. It's what being at least a little Canadian has done to me."
“Ah well, I won't even touch tea here." Alfred shrugged a bit. "Not that I'm a proper British lad anyway. Dad's always complaining that I may as well have been born in America." He cut into his waffles, taking a fairly large bite.
"There's always a chance you just don't like tea..." Matthew took a more reasonable bite of his pancakes, chewing them slowly. "These aren't quite as good as mine, but that might just be my pride speaking."
“I guess I'll be the judge of that." Alfred grinned as he ate. "I am looking forward to my pancakes on Friday."
“Pancakes with real syrup, no less," Matthew added, taking another bite.
“Geez, are you trying to make me--" Alfred caught himself before he finished the sentence, flushing and looking down at his waffles. Seriously? What the hell was he doing? Asking a guy to lunch when he didn't even know his name at the time. Making plans to meet with him again...to have their parents meet?
“Make you what?" Matthew took another bite of his pancake, and swallowed it quickly. "Is something wrong?"
“No! Uh...no. No...Nothing's wrong..." Alfred looked up at him, and felt that he was still flushed, but offered what he hoped was a reassuring smile. All the while, he couldn't help but wonder who this Matthew was, and why he was suddenly bringing everything he knew about himself into question.
“If you say so..." Matthew turned his attention back to his pancake, cutting off a larger piece and eating it. Maybe he had thought it a little strange, when Alfred had come out of nowhere and asked him out to eat, but they seemed to be getting along just fine now. He wasn't going to pretend he knew Alfred well enough to guess what he was thinking, but this behavior seemed a little bit off to him.
Alfred shook off the thoughts and went back to eating. "So..." He quickly swallowed before he continued. "...is this what you're going to do then? Or are you going to school for anything?"
“I'm mainly working at the shop right now...I did a few semesters a college towards a business degree, but..." Matthew shrugged. He had said before the money was tight right now, hadn't he? "I might go back and finish it one day, I guess."
Alfred blinked a few times. "Oh. That's cool." He finished up his waffles quickly, looking back to his coffee.
Matthew was slightly slower in finishing his food, and he watched Alfred sip at his coffee as he carefully ate the last piece of pancake and sat back in his seat to finish what was left of his own cup.
Alfred drummed a hand lightly on the table. He was conflicted. On one hand, he didn't want this brief lunch of theirs to end. He wanted to just spend the rest of the day getting to know this French-Canadian florist, Matthew, sitting across from him. On the other hand, he was bothered by the feelings he was getting just sitting across from him.
Matthew watched Alfred over the rim of his coffee cup, waiting for him to do something. He knew that he should be getting back to the shop, but it would be rude to insist on leaving...and he was rather enjoying this lunch. So, he settled back more comfortably into his seat and sipped at his coffee and continued waiting.
Alfred sighed as silence fell over the table. He glanced at Matthew over the edge of his coffee mug, never noticing as the waitress brought out the check.
Matthew carefully avoided meeting Alfred's gaze, looking somewhere in the vicinity of his mouth. When the waitress brought the check, be began to inch his hand toward it, so he could see just how much he owed for his share of the food.
Alfred caught the movement of Matthew's hand and turned his attention to the check. He reached out and didn't even look before throwing his cash in it, already knowing how much it would cost.
Matthew pulled the check toward him, glancing between it, to the money already sitting on the table, back to it, before putting it down and going for his wallet to pull out his money. The price was quite fair for what it was, and he didn't think twice about leaving his own tip for the waitress when he added his share to Alfred's.
After Matthew picked up his portion of the tab, Alfred moved to stand up. He wasn't sure what made him do it, but he offered his hand up to Matthew.
Matthew didn't hesitate to admit to himself that he was a little confused as to why exactly Alfred was offering him a hand to get out of a diner seat; however, at this point it would be rude to ignore it, so he took it and levered himself up, offering what he hoped was a grateful smile when he was standing again.
Alfred flushed a bit at the shiver that went down his spine as Matthew took his hand and smiled at him. It took him a moment to realize he still had to let go of Matthew's hand, and he cleared his throat, turning to head out as he did. "So, uh, what do you think of the place?"
Matthew smiled. "Not bad. I'm glad you've introduced me to it."
Alfred smiled as he pushed the door open, holding it for Matthew. "Remember though. It's one of the best kept secrets in town."
Matthew nodded his thanks for the door as he stepped out. "My lips are sealed, you have my word."
Alfred laughed a bit and started walking back toward the florist's shop. He held his hand awkwardly at his side as though waiting for Matthew's for a moment, before shoving both his hands in his pockets, watching his feet as he walked. "If I ever work a shift where I get a lunch break, I'll come grab you on my way over...uh...if you wanna anyway."
Matthew tangled his own fingers together, holding them behind his back as he walked. "I don't think I'd mind that. And you could possibly show me a few more of these little secrets in the area, as I haven't lived here long enough to discover them myself…"
“Absolutely! Oh, next time we should go to the bakery then! They're awesome, too." Alfred looked over at Matthew and smiled. "And they have great lunch specials. Nice and cheap."
“Ah...cheap is good," Matthew replied, unable to keep himself from also responding to Alfred's rather infectious smile. "Thank you for doing this."
Alfred blinked a few times. "For doing what?"
“Ah...for asking me to lunch. For showing me around. For just being so friendly I suppose." Matthew shrugged and turned his eyes to the sidewalk, suddenly thinking he probably shouldn't have said anything.
There was silence for a moment, then Alfred grinned again. "Well, of course! Isn't that what friends do?"
“Ah...it is, isn't it?" Matthew turned back with a small smile. "Even though we've been friends for less than two hours at this point, I appreciate it."
Alfred's smile faltered slightly for a moment. Right. They really hadn't been friends for very long at all. "Ah, well...it's nothing really."
“It is something when you don't know anyone else in the area." Matthew could see the shop just down the street, and at the rate they were going they would be there quite soon.
Alfred smiled warmly. "Oh well, you can always feel free to ask me any time. If I'm not at work, I'm usually free."
“There's a very good chance I'm going to take you up on that, you know." Matthew walked forward a few steps, and came to halt by the shop door. He could see his Papa watching him curiously through the window. "I should get back now, I suppose..."
Alfred glanced up, also noticing his father. "Oh, right..." He winced slightly noticing his own disappointment in his voice. "Phone number!" He looked at Matthew suddenly. "I should give you my phone number. So, you know, if you ever have any questions or anything..."
“That's a good idea..." Matthew began to search around his pockets for his cell phone, and after going through all of them twice still came up with nothing. He made the mistake of looking through the shop window again, to see his father, again with a knowing expression, waving at him happily and holding the phone in his other hand. "Ah...it seems I left mine inside..."
Alfred chuckled a bit and pulled out his own phone, setting up the new contact information. "Give me your number and I'll call your phone. Then you'll have my number."
Matthew recited the number and waited a moment for Alfred to finish inputting it. "We close shop around eight at night, so calling any time after that would be best for me."
Alfred blinked and flushed a bit as he saved the number, closing his phone. He was just going to call it now and then hang up so he would have the number when he got to it. "So then, I'll call you later...?"
“Later would be better. I'm sorry if that's not convenient for you but...I try not to take personal calls during work. You know...it's not very professional." Matthew shrugged again. "Ah...I'll be going then..?"
“Ah, yeah...I'll talk to you later." Alfred smiled and put his phone back in his pocket, feeling a little awkward now. He waved slightly as he turned to go back to the firehouse parking lot, where his car was waiting.
Matthew waved his hand in return, waiting a few moments to watch Alfred walk away, before turning and going back into the shop, and into what he knew was a huge line of questions his Papa was just waiting to ask him.
Comments are greatly appreciated! Especially if they're to point out editing things that I missed!