"Silver, I've just finished going over the latest round of requisitions, and-"

Amieta stopped abruptly, just inside the door of Silver Night's office. Something isn't right.

 Silver was sitting behind his desk, his expression bland, his tone mild, "The latest round of requisitions?"  A little too mild.

Amieta ignored his question and his inquiring expression, scanning the room with narrowed eyes: Silver at his ludicrous wooden desk, cluttered with the detritus of a working office. Bookshelves full of actual, paper books and other knickknacks, flanked by carefully tended kresh plants. The slate-colored circular table used for occasional meetings of senior staff, with it's expensive but uncomfortable chairs. A tasteful flower arrangement, carefully centered on the table.

Amieta pivoted back to Silver and grinned, "Nice flowers. A gift?"

"Yes." He hesitated, "Dr Toin sent them."

"I see." She turned back and studied the flowers, trying to remember long-ago classes, "I'm a bit rusty. I see sincerity, patience, and...?"

"The other Tsubaki flower would indicate, ah, affection." Silver shuffled around some of the papers on his desk, "Honest affection waiting patiently for reciprocation. Would be the traditional interpretation. Strictly speaking."

"Strictly speaking." It's about time, too. Amieta took a last look at the flowers, then walked over to his desk and flopped into one of the chairs across from him, "What are you going to do about it?"

"Do about it?" Silver shuffled more papers over to one side of his desk, then absently moved them back to the other side. He spent a few more seconds carefully squaring up a datapad so it aligned with the corner just so. "The florist must have made a mistake. I will send them a note. With an orange flower, rather than red flower, it would indicate professional respect and mutual professional satisfaction over the long term. I'm sure that's what Nolikka - What Dr Toin ordered. Or something similar."

Ancestors give me patience. She rolled her eyes, "A mistake from the florist?"

Silver finally looked at the flowers, "I can hardly see what other reason there could be for them to send that particular arrangement."

"Really Silver? No other reason comes to mind?" 

He frowned, "What other reason could there be?"

Amieta gave him a look, "How about: It wasn't an accident."

He adjusted the datapad almost imperceptibly and took a few moments before he spoke, "You don't think so?"

"No. I don't think so."  Amieta idly reached out and tweaked the datapad out of alignment with a flick of her finger, "So. What are you going to do about it?"

"If it's really- If this is what she intended to send..." Silver looked like a man facing an opening airlock, "Then I'm going to send her flowers."

"What kind of flowers?"

"What?" Silver was in the middle of re-aligning the datapad, "I thought perhaps an arrangement that indicated I had received her arrangement and was agreeable."

"Agreeable?" Amieta shook her head, "No, Silver, that won't do at all. It needs to be more personal than that. You have to risk putting something out there like she did."


"No, Silver."

She gave him a steady look until he finally stopped fidgeting with things on his desk. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, but not hesitant, "Akulo, to show it is something personal."

"It's a start." Amieta leaned forward in her chair, "What else? Something to show - not just that it's agreeable, but that you actually feel something back too. What about that big yellow flower?"

"Tashu?" Silver considered for a moment, "No. That would be - just agreement. And you're right. Agreement isn't enough. Heis. It's a fern. It's more... appropriate. Not just agreement; reciprocation."

She shrugged, but could hide a smile, "You're the expert. Is that all?"

"No." He studied the flowers Noli had sent him agian, "No. Tieleto. New blooms. For beginnings."

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