Author: Goten0040 PM
Stress can change attitudes, cause sleep disorders, and even destroy the immune system. Strange how it can sometimes change life for the better. This is how I became human again. SetoxSerenityRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Seto K. & Shizuka K. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,677 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 04-21-08 - Published: 04-16-08 - id: 4201902
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(Author's Note: I do not own or claim any of the Yu-Gi-Oh! enterprise including cards, names, toys, characters, etc. This story is just a random idea. Enjoy.)
(Summary: Stress can change attitudes, cause sleep disorders, and even destroy the immune system. Strange how it can sometimes change life for the better. This is how I became human again. SetoxSerenity)
There was a time, a few years ago, when Kaiba Corporation pretty much ran itself. I, being a mere teenager, basked in the glow that was wealth and prosperity, and watched my company flourish into a giant conglomerate. I had time to invent, time to think, time to enjoy fame and the skills I had earned in the game I had just so happened to cash in on. My Blue-Eyes-White-Dragon Empire had scattered the world, and I enjoyed every minute of my well deserved success.
That was before.
Things had changed drastically over the three years. I wasn't eighteen anymore. I was twenty-one, and my success had turned to a nightmare. Yes, Duel Monsters was still quite popular, but after many attempts at sabotage, I had to take the company under my own control for the sake of my money, my family, and even, my life. It seemed almost every person underneath me had betrayed me, and the harder I tried to earn their respect, the more the work piled on.
It got to where I felt almost alone among a worldwide company. Every person around me was a potential threat. I sat in my swivel chair, gazing at the large stack of papers on my desk, almost curious as to how the hell that many papers could make it to my desk in five minutes. Almost mechanically, my hand reached over the desktop, grasped a pen, and began to sign the bottoms of the documents with an almost robotic quality.
My shoulders were aching. They'd been aching for a year and a half - or at least, that was when I noticed they ached. My hand constantly cramped up from overuse on the laptop, the desktop, with pens, carrying papers, and the constant add-ons the company offered. I gulped another drawn out slurp from my cooling, disgusting black coffee. I fidgeted constantly. Mokuba said he hadn't seen me sit still in a very long time. I couldn't remember how long I stayed in the office sometimes, and my little brother would sometimes worry when I appeared dazed at my desk, lost in thoughts or work.
Work, work, work. That's the ticket. I'd been trained all my life to work for success. I was abandoned at a young age, left to care for myself and my brother, and then adopted by a cutthroat CEO that was bringing the company up from the ground. I could remember vaguely sometimes, when the blood was pumping into my temples violently, the man handcuffing me to a desk, forcing me to work. Work, work, work, work, work. When I became a CEO, I gave up the remnants of my childhood. I watched them start to crumble when I began to be not only brother, but parent to Mokuba, then dissipate completely when my adoptive father took over.
That was just the way things were. Oddly enough, even after my adoptive father's death, I didn't feel handcuffed to my desk again until later. Until all the work began to pour into my office. I ran a worried hand through my hair, continuing to scribble my name on documents that I could hardly scan with my weary eyes. The door creaked open and I jolted, the only energy in my body coming from caffeine over the past two days. My secretary stood before me in her high heeled shoes and dark black hair.
"Mister Kaiba, there are more forms coming in for you."
"Send them in," I said, not really paying attention for her.
She gave a heavy sigh. "Fine."
I glanced up then, an attitude bubbling under my surface. "Excuse me?"
She chomped on her gum. God, that was annoying. "I said fine."
"I believe you're supposed to say Yes, sir."
"You haven't exactly been good company, sir, she said darkly. So I don't see why I have to respect you."
"If you don't respect me, you don't work for me. You're fired," I said curtly.
She glowered at me in shock. I shrugged, eyeing her cruelly. "You heard me. And before you go, send out an ad in the paper. I'm looking for a new secretary."
"Bastard," she hissed, slamming the door behind her.
Yeah. I was. I knew. I couldn't exactly help it. I hadn't slept in three days. I hadn't eaten a substantial meal in five days, and, dear God, I couldn't remember the last time I'd gotten laid. I rubbed my eyes and took another swig of my coffee, grimacing at the horrible taste. Yes, I needed a new secretary indeed. I suppose that's how my whole story started.
I was actually surprised at the turnout of secretaries. On probably the lightest workload day I had had in the past few years, I called in the small group for Mokuba and I to judge. Many of them were the same gum-chomping, attitude-wielding women that my previous secretary had been, but a few stood out in the crowd.
One especially because I'd seen her before.
Serenity Wheeler, sister of Joey Wheeler, probably around nineteen years old, stood before me in what was probably her best clothes (which looked like hand-me-downs from her mother) and her auburn hair pulled up in a clip. I raised an eyebrow at her, as if to ask What are you doing here? Honestly, I was curious. She lowered her hazel eyes to the floor, which bothered me even more. I pointed to her.
"You." I stated it clearly, though my voice seemed wearier than I remembered. "Come with me."
She obliged quietly. I didn't know she was following except for the clicks of her high heeled shoes against the floor behind me.
"Tell me why you're here," I said, keeping my eyes forward, moving toward my office.
"I need a job," she said quite simply.
I opened the door to my office and gestured her to follow me in. She did. "I can honestly say I'm quite surprised that you chose here of all places to work… Miss Wheeler."
She swallowed heavily - I saw it out of the corner of my eye. "Yes, I know. I just… this place offers good pay and I can do this job."
"Are you really so desperate for money?" I took a seat behind my desk, putting on a pair of glasses that I usually used when my tired eyes needed to read, and began to fish through the paperwork I had yet to do. "Your résumé, please."
"O-oh! Yes, right here." She handed me a manila folder with quite a few well organized papers within it. I looked it over. "Well, you're qualified, quite obviously. You've had positions like this before."
"Y-yes, I have. The pay wasn't very good, however. I needed to have a job that paid more. This one meets the requirements I'm looking for. I… I need the money so I can go to school. My mother recently passed away and I'm in debt."
I could hear the difficulty in her voice. She didn't want to tell me that. Not that I was surprised. Every since she'd met me she'd been told I was a cold-hearted bastard who tortured her brother for the sake of stroking my ego.
And they were right, so it really didn't matter.
"You realize that this is just menial work, right?" I looked over the rims of my glasses.
"You also realize that the reason you will be paid more because I'm not exactly the easiest boss to get along with."
She nodded again. "I understand that you're under a lot of stress…"
Stress? She didn't know the half of it. I apparently conveyed that with my eyes because she looked away. I raised my eyebrows and folded my hands.
"Are you afraid of me, Miss Wheeler?"
There was a moment of silence. "No, I'm not."
"Could've fooled me," he said rather smoothly, glowering at a particularly difficult piece of paperwork. "You've hardly spoken. You don't really have the confidence it takes to want this job."
"I honestly didn't expect to even be seen by you," she replied quite matter-of-factly. "I thought I would at least try. Right now, you've got the best offer, and, though my family and yours haven't necessarily gotten along, I'm ready to put that aside to work in your establishment."
I folded my hands, actually impressed by her intellect.
"Tell me. Why didn't you receive a scholarship?"
She shook her head. "I… I had some difficulties and had to drop out of high school for a year. I've just recently finished my education, but colleges aren't looking for nineteen-year-old graduate. Not with a drop-out year on the transcript anyway."
"I see." I glanced over her résumé once more. "Well, you seem to be perfectly qualified."
I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. She seemed a little uncomfortable with my weariness. "You're hired," I said. "Now get to work. I need a secretary today."
"Wh-what? Oh! Right. Yes sir." She stood and headed toward the door.
"And get something flattering to wear, please?" I growled. "My office requires a nicer dress than what you're wearing."
"Yes, sir…" She quickly vanished behind the door.
So that was it. I hired a Wheeler to work beneath me. Something was a little bit funny about that. It was nice to have something amusing happen. Still, even with a Wheeler working for me, I still had far too much work on my hands to enjoy it. So I went right back to work.
(Author's Note: I doubt this story will be long. It's just a little idea I had, and I'm trying to get it out on paper. I'm not completely happy with it yet. I've always had difficulty writing Seto in character. He's very cold and calculating, and I'm trying to build onto his character with anxiety and stress - hence the title. Reviews and critiques are very much appreciated!)