This is something I've dug up from a few fics that I started but never finished. Maybe it will go somewhere now…
If you find something that may relate or make reference to another story, I've either done it purposefully, or I'm very sorry for stealing your idea.
Note: Sesshoumaru's last name, I believe, has a 'u' at the end, but I'm going to spell it the stupid American way. Also, pay attention to the other characters' last names. Some are real people. Recognize any?
It'S nOt SanE
cHaptEr 1 Of Staplers and Subordinates
I wasn't used to things not working perfectly, exactly when I called upon them to do so. Eight years as a person with in the most influential position in a very most influential company will do that-make you believe that nothing should ever have the nerve to not operate properly when you require its functions, or do whatever you wanted in general, exactly how you wanted.
It's idealistic, of me, I know. Of course, I would learn that most often than not, through liberal amounts of not necessarily unneeded, but most definitely unwanted experience, nothing ever occurs how you plan. At least not for an extended period of time, that is. And my period of time was just about up, and no extension was in sight. One might think that after fourteen years, it was about time something screwed up. That is to say, I had things smoothly for long enough? What most narrow-minded people that think that do not think of is that after fourteen years of smooth operation, a minor glitch can be the fuse to an inconceivable ordeal.
At the moment, the damn gold-plated stapler that I had received as a not-so-gracious gift from my not-so-tolerable assistant, Jaken , was refusing to perform its one, solitary purpose in the world which was to staple my report. Normally, such a thing would not faze me in the slightest, as I am a very controlled, stable person. But today was especially aggravating.
You see, I would normally not even be performing a mindless task such as joining five sheets of paper together with a wiry, sharp piece of metal, but my secretary, a certain Mrs. Kakinouchi, who had discovered she was with child, not that I'm accusing her of anything, had resigned exactly a week prior, leaving me, a CEO, to do his own stapling (very undignified, mind you) with a stapler that didn't even work. Impertinent witch. Yes, the stapler and yes, Mrs. Kakinouchi.
There was a short beep from my conference phone then-
Fuck. I usually refrain from using expressive language, even mentally, but today was an exception. The stapler had decided to work--on my index finger.
"Is everything alright, Mr. Taisho?" It was Ms. Ayame Kakinouchi, a very temporary replacement for her elder sister, a happy-go-lucky girl with a pretty face, but whom I did not yet deem capable of manipulating a stapler, let alone a temperamental one. Very temporary. She answered the phone with that happy voice of hers and yelled at one of my subordinate managers, Kouga, for running out on their last date. Not that I could blame him, but he had proven to be somewhat, ok, very dense on numerous occasions. But he was fast and hard-working, so my complaints were minimal. Still, the Ayame woman would have to go. Didn't a woman as young as she have things to do? Like shop or paint her nails or flirt with people other than those who worked for me? She would be relieved when I released her from her permanent duty. She was too damn happy one second, then jumping all over someone's back the next, most likely Kouga's. She had already been here for a week, and it would go no further.
Note to self: never get involved with coworkers. 1.) It will cause trouble in the work environment. 2.) There is nobody that would ever be worth the trouble that it would cause in the work environment.
Perhaps I could give Kakinouchi a different position, on a floor that was at least ten away from mine...
But, back to my day…and what a riveting day it had been so far. A stapler with distemper, a temporary replacement secretary with distemper, who I would have to replace without being distempered. I was just planning on the best way to 'release' Miss Ayame Kakinouchi, (ok I wasn't. In fact I had just planned on telling her "You're fired, now get out, you bipolar broad," but it's always better to make one's self look good), when she decided, adding to the appeal of the day, to spare me the trouble.
"I'm very sorry, Mr. Taisho. Please excuse my sudden decision." She stood, hands folded in front of her, and bowed, though not nearly as much as she should have for being the second secretary to walk out on me in less than a week and a half. And she wasn't even permanent.
"I really didn't expect Mr. Yoro-Kouga- to propose so suddenly. I hope that you can forgive me and I wish your company luck in the future." With that, she left my office, red pigtails bouncing. Ridiculous.
So, I was without secretary. That meant I would have to resort to dire means. I hit the extension number for Jaken's desk. He was upstairs, new pot of coffee made and in my cup, in less than ten minutes. Amazing how he could be so efficient when it came to mundane tasks that didn't require mental functioning. I told him to hold any messages and to bring me last year's revenue records. He held the calls and brought last year's tax records. Good enough for Jaken.
After filling out a generous stack of paperwork, which I was forced to paperclip together, I leaned back in my black leather chair and stared out of my office window. It really was quite a view if you enjoyed cityscapes, I guess, but I hardly got the chance to just gaze out of my window, and when I did, I felt as if I had been staring at the skyscrapers for hours. Modern civilization and technology are wondrous, and yet we build more and more, newer and newer, probably because what we build is so plain and, inevitably, boring that we build more to compensate for it, as opposed to the elegantly-aging, beautiful architectures of old that actually required thought and devotion to create.
The gray concrete and glass wasteland that is Tokyo shined back at me, twinkling with lights that held a false glow, a broken promise in them. They were like many lives, on the outside beautiful and exotic but in the core, foggy, misleading, and ruthlessly unforgiving. Damn, I could use a good gambol in bed.
But, no time for the physical or aesthetical, this was about the practical. There wasn't any room in my world at the moment for dreaming philosophy when there were more important questions like how to persuade the current small company we were working with to merge with out bigger company, and what was the predicted stock market rate for the next five years, and why was my coffee cup empty?
With that last thought, I retrieved a small address book from the lowest drawer of my desk and flipped through it quickly, determined to not let my eyes rest on certain names in the book. Usually, I would not resort to any friend of my half-brother, but I must admit, Miroku was quite good at what he did.
"Hirano, Miroku speaking."
"Ah, Sesshoumaru! It's been a long time! The last time I saw you, you were plotting Inuyasha's death while he downed too many mai tais at a company party!"
"Yes, yes, what can I do for you, Mr. Taisho?" Miroku laughed at me with a tinge of mock in his I'm-not-mocking-you-I-promise-voice.
"My secretary, no, last two secretaries have left because of uncontrollable circumstances and I am in need of assistance." I informed him simply. "Capable assistance." I added immediately, knowing Miroku.
"Ah, of course! Let me see…"
"Hirano, not that type of capable."
"I don't know what you're talking about. But…" He blabbered happily. There was the clicking of a key board faintly in the background. "Heh heh, perfect! I have the perfect woman for the job, Sesshou-I mean, Mr. Taisho. In fact, I can guarantee her myself; she's a very good friend of mine and a diligent worker. Rather…different, but a wonderful girl. You'll love her!" He chuckled in a way that made Sesshoumaru question Miroku's capabilities.
"I'm leaving it in your hands. I'm holding you responsible for any mishaps."
"Sure thing. Let me just call her and she should be there tomorrow. I'll phone you if anything comes up to the contrary. Bye, Mr. Taisho! Nice hearing from you!" He began typing feverishly again before I could berate him and I wondered at how such a person like Miroku could come across so simple-minded and ridiculously happy and manage to be fairly bright and efficient in his work.
If I didn't know, I'd think they were all related--the bipolar chick and the horny human resources guy. They were all put on this earth just to spite me. Yes, Miroku had a reputation as quite the ladies man, minus the ladies, in his younger days when he would take every opportune moment he saw to sneak in a good butt squeeze on the unsuspecting girl-and Miroku saw every moment as opportune. It was all quite ironic, really, when you considered that his side job was the typical life of a monk, minus the typical. He insisted that he was a man of the cloth who just managed to work "a little extra reassurance" into life. Like money. And women.
"I want her here on time, Hirano."
"Of course!" he replied happily. I could almost see his silly grin that could be considered scary, depending on whether you were of the fairer sex or not.
"Hm?" I could hear him typing away in the background, immersed in his work, on top of everything….or playing Tetris.
"She isn't one of your past "experiences", is she?" he knew exactly what I was referring to. Miroku was a ladies man and everyone knew it.
"Most unfortunately, no." He said with a dreamy tone that I did not like.
"I will hold you responsible if any trouble ensues." I reminded him coldly.
"Of course." Miroku said sincerely in his faux-noble tone. For some reason, that one always touched a nerve with me, but I finally felt that something was going to my liking so I let it slip. It could have been worse. I could have been stuck with super-schizo Ayame for another week. We could have run out of paper clips.
Later, to add to my already detestable day, the Higurashi woman did not show up for her appointment and Jaken was nowhere to be found. Feeling especially like taking a stroll and disemboweling him, I made my way to his desk, only to find one more tiny annoyance.
"Ouch! Damn, damn, damn!"
As if it hadn't helped enough that when I had called for Jaken, he wasn't at his desk, some random woman, probably an employee, was cursing while nursing a sore foot that she had no doubt gotten while waiting for Jaken to return to his appointed area.
"I can't believe this!" she half groaned, half hollered at her indented shoe.
"Where is Jaken." I asked her, annoyed, and rightfully believing that someone on this earth should be able to answer my questions.
"How the hell should I know? I was supposed to meet him half an hour ago!" she snapped at me and turned back to nursing her foot. I growled but made my way back to my office to call and yell at Miroku for referring a woman to me who couldn't even show up. Jaken would get his payment in due time, then I would find that woman and fire her for insulting, I, the CEO and co-owner of the company. Yes, that ought to brighten my day.
However, my day was only beginning.
Headache. That was my exact thought the moment Miss K. Higurashi walked into my office. She was pretty enough, yet astoundingly unkempt. Perhaps it was the fact that her wavy hair, though dark and shining, did not look as if it could be properly tamed, perhaps it was the fact that she was fidgeting, attempting to cover a run in her nylons, or perhaps it was the fact that her face was void of ten pounds of makeup, but this woman did a wonderful job of being completely different than I had expected and creating a headache in a completely different spot than I was used to. Or perhaps it was the fact that I was interviewing her when I had promised to fire her only minutes before.
"Sit down." I motioned to one of the chairs resting in front of my desk. She walked across the room smoothly, with great confidence for one who exuded such a profound sense of unease. She glanced about her as she sat, eyeing my office almost skeptically, (this was going to be fun, I could tell already.) not crossing her legs, which would have given me a plain view of the run up her thigh-which I had already seen-but instead pressing her legs together tightly and smoothing her gray skirt over them. She glanced at my desk then me, then the desk, and I was having a difficult time reading her actions, but I did manage to pick up that she seemed slightly disgruntled.
"You are Miss Higurashi, I presume. The same Higurashi, I presume, that just snapped at me for asking of the whereabouts of my assistant?"
She nodded, smiling appologetically and warily at me, a kindness and discomfort, and hint of annoyance obvious in her gray-blue eyes. Most remarkable color, very uncommon, but anyways…
"That would be me. Mr. Taisho, it's a pleasure to meet you." She bowed sitting down.
"Likewise, I'm sure." I muttered, already tired of her first interesting appearance which was dulled by the usual, typical talk that she spilled forth as if dumping some foul drink because it was the daily routine. "But I'm not here to discuss trivial matters. Hirano Miroku has told me that you are reliable and have experience in the area of secretarial work. Is this correct?"
She nodded once, smiled quickly, and shifted, gazing at my desk.
"Good. I must be frank, Miss Higurashi. I do not tolerate any mistakes or dramatics in my company. Any foul-"
"Nice Stapler." she said dully, offhandedly. It was obvious she was just as enthusiastic at the prospect of working for me as I was of she doing so. She should be so lucky.
"It doesn't work," I snapped a bit, wary of the potential for this day to go as bad as the one before. As I was saying, any unnecessary-"
"Have you tried checking for a jammed staple in the front part here?" She actually picked up my stapler. That small action alone told me that she was not afraid of me anymore, or maybe she was just trying to use intelligence. How annoying. "Sometimes they get stuck and bent out of shape, but you can't see them, and it doesn't work." she smiled happily, probably relieved to find something else to focus on.
I sighed and rubbed my temples.
"Higurashi, if you do not wish to be here, tell me so, so that I do not waste more time on something that will not be beneficial to either of us."
"Ok, I really don't want to be here." she said plainly.
I said the only thing I could. "Why?" I was actually surprised. It had been a rhetorical question and nobody had ever openly told me that they did not wish to work for me. A position at Taisho Inc. was valuable and noteworthy and respected.
"My Grandpa's in the hospital, my boyfriend of five years broke up with me, I missed the bus and had to stand in the rain on the way here, my nylons ripped (which I'm sure you already noticed) and a plethora of other things. Not to mention that, quite frankly, I think you and your company are stuck up from what I've seen so far."
"I don't care to hear about your personal misgivings."
"You asked, didn't you? And they're not 'misgivings' , they're all someone else's fault. A good majority of them are yours."
Great. Just great. In exchange for a schizo, I got a psychopath. With a mouth.
"I'm so sorry." I replied flatly, annoyed.
"That's exactly what I was thinking."
Now this amazed me. I had truly thought that I would have to place this woman on my Try Desperately Not To Throttle List, but things had taken a small turn. She was catching my attention. Nobody (besides my half-brother) had ever dared to make snide retorts and comments in my company building, on my territory; it was occupational murder to challenge someone such as myself. She was either extremely confident or extremely stupid. Both were equally possible.
We sat, staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity, one that I was hoping would end very, very soon. She got up, without breaking our eye contact, either daring enough not to blink, or scared enough not to let her predator gain ground.
"Well, I guess I'll be going now, considering I've completely blown my chance at this 'chance-of-a-lifetime job," she stood with a false bow. Her tone was mocking
Was she telling me that I was stuck up and that she wouldn't want to work for my company, then expecting to just walk out my door with the upper hand? Now I just couldn't let her do that. My pride depended on having none that would deface my company, publicly, able to walk out in public without a warning from myself. No, I couldn't have that. I would have to teach her a lesson about respect.
"Jaken will show you the necessary things you are required to know and you will officially begin tomorrow." I was going to teach her a lesson. Instead, I hired her. Right now I must seem very confusing and perhaps even weak, but it was quite contrary and perfectly justified in my mind. I needed a secretary, she was the closest thing to one that was within a two mile radius. I needed to teach her a lesson about my company and what better way than to make her part of it? You see, the wonderful thing about being a person who is very good at reasoning is, you can always find a reason for doing exactly what you wish. It's wonderful, really. Help builds confidence.
She looked at me, a pathetically-hidden look of shock and amazement covering her face. I smirked at her and pressed the intercom on my conference phone.
"Yes, Mr. Taisho?" Jaken's toady voice croaked from the other end of the line.
"Jaken, come get Miss…what was it?" I asked deliberately.
"Higurashi." she muttered numbly.
"Yes, Miss Higurashi and show her where she will be stationed and where to find the necessary materials. I hold you responsible for her training."
"Of course, Mr. Taisho!" he croaked and I pressed the button, turning off the phone. I looked up, pleased to find a most traumatized look on Higurashi's face.
"Oh no. You're not telling me that….person… that finally came to his desk is going to be training me…are you?" She half growled, half squeaked."
"With the way you put it….yes." I grinned evilly. "Welcome to Taisho Incorporated, Higurashi. I assume you will live up to the company's standards." I smirked once again and she was about to tell me off but instead squeaked as Jaken tapped her leg.
"Come on, lady. Mr. Taisho can not waste his whole day on the likes of you." he rasped, shoving her along with all his body weight which still could not move her.
"He's so…small." She said without giving Jaken a glance. " I bet you keep small assistants around for kicks. It makes me believe that you really are an ego tripper. And this company's so big. It makes one wonder if you're trying to compensate for a small misgiving of your own. Don't worry, we all have them." She walked past Jaken, immune to his prods which had grown more harmful at her words. "Some are just more…disabling or encumbering than others." she smiled at me, a smile that did not reach her eyes which held a competitive warning in them.
The door swung smoothly shut behind her and Jaken and there was a definite sway to her hips as she left that I couldn't take my eyes off and hated her for. She knew what she had and how to use it. The dangerous type, she was. I could already tell.
Good. A challenge after all of the groveling, dense subordinates I'd had. This should be something new, fresh, and exigent. And if she tired me or proved less than what I originally thought, I could discard her and maybe hire another Kakinouchi as a permanent secretary. I heard there were four sisters in all, one of them was bound to be reasonable.
But, what was that about me compensating for something? She couldn't possibly mean…physical…attributes, I assure you. Could she? Well, that just showed how little she knew.
I leaned back and smiled at the view of the Tokyo cityscape. I'm a stickler for tradition, but I also value variation that can bring valuable changes which otherwise would be overlooked. Hopefully Higurashi would provide a reasonable change and perhaps some entertainment at the same time. I took one last glance at the Tokyo skyline before me and turned back to my desk where my eyes landed on the stapler, the bane of my existence for the last two days. I opened it and discovered a single staple had been jammed into the front of the part where staples were held, and I smiled. I picked out the troublesome staple and tossed it aside, picking up my report. I put the report in the stapler and pressed it down with a smile then drew the report out.
I pulled out a box of paperclips.
AN: I have nothing against Ayame, don't get me wrong, I just found her as a convenient character
The last names are all a certain type of people. Kudos if you figured it out.
Note: Taisho or Taishou is not taken from Inutaisho (IY's and Sesshy's dad) because that is not his real name. Taishou is a suffix like 'sama' that was used for great leaders/generals, usually militaristic in nature.