Silentshipping's Cry for Help
By Sakura Takanouchi and Kako
Summary: So you want to hook up Seto Kaiba with Serenity Wheeler but you don't know how? No worries! Just follow our guide to learn how to write using these recycled clichés and examples! [Co-written with Kako]
Sakura Takanouchi: So here we are with the highly anticipated second installation of what we lovingly dub "SC4H!" Let us take a moment to appreciate our reviewers. You guys rule! And I love all the great ideas…there's just so much potential.
Kako: Agreed. Thanks to Daeth101- Fox version, GoddessOfVictory, MaterialGirl69, UnlessAbsolutelyNecessary, dancers of the night, Blueshadows2010, Sakurelle, The Duelist's Heiress, and Gvantsa. Without you, our egos just wouldn't be the same.
Chapter Two: The Office… no, not that one.
There once was a boy. This boy was tall, with dark hair, and a troubled past. He also happened to be a wizard…no, wait, wrong story. The day started for Seto Kaiba like any normal day: he ate his breakfast, checked his heart in his heart-monitor, rescued his brother twice, and oversaw the ironing of his beloved trench-coat, all before leaving for work.
Where she would soon be coming to visit him.
Seto sighed, leaning back in his chair. Serenity Wheeler. The girl with a noun for a name. That makes her perfect for me! His heart gave an erratic twitch, and he quickly buried the traitorous thoughts, busying himself in his bowl of oatmeal…brand name cereal…food?
Welcome back, people. Let's start off this chapter by butchering ourselves some culture, and describing Seto's morning activities. Because we all know how a corporate multi-billionaire starts their day.
Seto continued eating his cereal. What was that, Count Chocula?
"It's Alpha-Bits," Seto sniffed, digging into the frosted goodness.
—Several Hours Later—
First, we would like to stress the importance of time jumps. These handy plot devices are wonderful for getting yourself out of a sticky situation or ignoring writing a particularly boring scene. Just write, "X hours later," and for all your readers know, CharacterX simply stared at the wall for that time.
Seto blinked; he had just suddenly found himself in his KC corner office.
"Hey, where did that wall go?" He mused. "That color of taupe was surprisingly soothing."
Seto turned, his eyebrows narrowing as he noticed Mokuba sitting in his chair, legs kicking as he scribbled away on a crossword puzzle.
"Hey, Seto," Mokuba asked, tapping the eraser on the desk. "What's a thirteen-letter phrase for an overused plot device?"
Seto frowned for a moment. "Deus ex machina, Mokuba. Hey, why aren't you in school?"
I think we've heard enough from them for now, haven't you? Now, this chapter is all about the infamous 'solo meeting' of Serenity and Seto! I mean, they have to get to know each other somewhere away from the prying eyes of a brother who seems to have that sort of time on his hands anyways. And what better place than the work…place! I mean, really, the first time this came out it must have been earth-shattering. Oh no, I've chosen to write a story about a CEO who is emotionally attached to his job and absolutely refuses to leave the KaibaCorp building! What should I do?
No worries! Just send someone to him! I mean, it really was genius… the first time. But after that, go find yourself another idea! Or just simply twist a well-known idea until it is indiscernible from the original. How about this: a bleak romance between a weary stress-filled CEO and the poor altruistic girl who is a member of the nightly cleaning staff of KC tower?
Hey, now that actually has some merit! Score! Now nobody take that idea until I can write it out... Now where were we? Ah yes, the story! It's high time our heroine showed up, so without further ado…
Suddenly Serenity appeared in all her magical goodness in the building's lobby, wondering if she was still dreaming or if her sleepwalking problem had started up again. It took only moments for her to realize where she was, and with some measure of relief, too. Now I don't have to worry about Joey wondering where I was sneaking off to. Or the fact that I only just got here, and don't know where anything is in this surprisingly metropolitan city that nobody ever talks about.
Ignoring all of this as simply a passing flurry of reality, she proceeded to question the very busy receptionist, who was also on the phone and typing furiously on her computer keyboard at the same time. "Um, my name is Serenity Wheeler… did Seto Kaiba say he was expecting me?" (Whoa, S.C.A.A. alert!)
The Secretary nodded her head towards the rather ordinary-looking elevators behind her, as if encouraging her to go on up. Serenity smiled and thanked the woman who went right back to her multiple tasks. Because there was only one for this notoriously huge building. Wouldn't want that job.
Now, our parody wouldn't be a parody unless we added a huge, unnecessary description of the spaces that Serenity was looking at. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it… wouldn't someone who used to be blind take notice of everything they see? Well folks, let's steer clear of canon in favor of entertainment™! And, if anyone is really missing out on that pointless description, go check out the story, 'Stranger Things Have Happened.' Just skim through the parts until you get to Mokuba's building.
But that's not what we're here to talk about!
The elevator gave an off-pitch 'bleep' to signal that the correct floor had been reached. Serenity stepped out, unsure of where to go next. She was in a literal maze of cubicles and pathways with people bustling around, carrying stacks of paper everywhere or engaged in other equally noisy pursuits.
So Serenity decided to just wander about until she found his office. 'Really, did these people have any notion of the concept 'Casual Friday'?' Her newfound characterization of Archetype B gave her strength, so when she got to the end of the hallway, nearly colliding with several people in the process, she asked someone stationed at a copier where Seto's office was.
"Up," she stated blandly, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You blind or something?"
Serenity just smiled weakly at the woman, who was now gathering the copied images and rushing off. 'Up…?'
Serenity followed the woman's instructions, tilting her head as she wondered just how it was possible to have missed the giant balcony above her, overlooking the workspace as it stretched across the entire width of the floor. Serenity's eyes lingered on Seto's form as he stood near the railing, and it took Serenity only a moment longer to locate the staircase set back against the wall. Looking back up, she frowned slightly upon seeing the room's only decoration, an intimidating poster climbing the length of the adjacent wall, displaying a cheerful Mokuba with an imposing Seto Kaiba standing behind him. A caption in a bold shade of red dominated the bottom. Serenity read the words aloud, even more confused about KaibaCorp's unconventional goings-on.
"Big Brother is watching you…?"
Climbing up, she discovered a spacious (and tastefully decorated) lounge area, a clear glass balustrade lining the edge of the balcony. Seto stood at its edge, hands grasping the railing as he surveyed the area below him.
"Umm… Kaiba?" Serenity ventured, not wanting to startle him out of his trancelike state. Upon hearing her voice, he turned and flashed Serenity a wicked smile.
HELLO?! He's smiling? Can you say 'ulterior motive?' Rhetorical question, of course.
"I saw you from up here," he said, completely unaware of how creepy he appeared to the girl. "Do you like this office?"
"It's very nice," she admitted. "And everyone moves so fast. It's impressive!" She came closer to him, almost like a curious cat. "How do you do it?"
"Simple. They fear me."
And here, dear minions, err… readers, is where we stress the importance of RESEARCH! But more than that, there is also the element of COMMON SENSE! Now, the layout of Kaiba's office is drastically unrealistic, but you must see, it's refreshing, right? So many stories have the separate office suite or the wood-paneled conference rooms (again, see 'Stranger Things Have Happened' for reference). It's very easy to use research to make the setting more believable, so that the characters may act more convincingly in these settings. Hey, that's what the Internet is for! Now, full speed ahead to the common sense portion of this dialogue. We all know Kaiba's a jerk, but one thing he holds in high importance is money. Do you know how expensive it is to fire people? You would have to pay them, and then pay to train someone else to replace them. And the time that takes costs even more! Even if Seto Kaiba is really a hollow robot filled with greenbacks, he wouldn't just go on a tirade and fire everyone who looked at him funny. He would be smart about it. So, as writers, let's all do the same.
"I've been wondering," Serenity began, "why did you want me to come here?"
"It seems fitting, as your so-called 'friends' could only show you one side of Domino, that I could take it upon myself to show you the other," he explained. Like a gullible little sheep, Serenity nodded.
"I would like to see how your company is run, it sounds interesting," she replied with a smile, archetype B lying dormant for the time being.
The pair had reached the bottom of the stairs when suddenly a familiar female worker came speed-walking up to them. It was the same person who Serenity had talked to only moments before. "Kaiba," she said, breathless from the exertion, "all the staff are completely on edge! Whatever happened to our gofer? Efficiency rates are down 15% this week!"
Seto stopped in his tracks, blinking in carefully concealed surprise. "Shirley is on maternity leave starting this week. As of now, we don't have a gofer."
As if his voice was magically magnified, his words echoed around the suddenly and oh-too-convenient silence. Then, the babble of shouting and complaining began.
"I need my coffee!"
"What about these papers! They aren't going to deliver themselves, you know!"
And, in one moment, the seemingly indisputable order collapsed into total and complete chaos. It was noisier than a bunch of middle-earthen men fighting over who was going to handle the one ring. Seto just stood there, waiting for the noise to dissipate when a small voice somehow pierced through the racket.
"I'll do it."
Now everyone was looking at her (well, except Seto. He was worried that he left his heart monitor at the house).
"I'll take the one ring, err, the job." She looked around, uncertainly. "What exactly does a gofer do, anyway?"
Chaos erupted once again.
Now this, in case you couldn't tell, is a parody on all of those stories in which Serenity gets a job straight out of high school working as the Vice-Manager of Accounting or as Kaiba's personal shopper or something. Really, does any of that seem plausible when you stop to think about it? From what we have seen of Serenity in the series (ahh, here comes canon to screw us over once more), she is not qualified enough to even be within a mile radius of the KaibaCorp building. But I really think that this job suits her experience level perfectly, don't you agree? It sure makes for hysterical situational irony at least. And if anyone doesn't know what a gofer is, go to your local zoo… naw, just kidding. Go watch 'The Devil Wears Prada,' and change any fashion stuff to business stuff and there you go.
"Now, I'm sure you're used to cleaning up after the mutt, so this is basically the same thing," Seto Kaiba explained as they walked around the office complex so Serenity could get a better feel for the space. Now that she was paying closer attention, she saw several more 'Big Brother is watching you' signs scattered across the floor. Serenity snapped back to attention just as they neared a counter where a coffee machine sat, bubbling happily. "This," Seto gestured grandly," is the elixir of life."
Upon seeing Serenity's puzzled expression, he groaned. "Without coffee, the workers will rebel. It is your job to, no matter what, see to it that there's always coffee in this machine. Got it?"
Serenity nodded dumbly. 'What have I gotten myself into?'
"You will also be responsible for managing the copier and delivering papers. Get started then. Your day ends when ours does." With that, he left her to assume his position on the balcony above. Then the shouts began.
"New Shirley! I need 2 copies of this document made, and deliver one to Mr. Kaiba to sign!" One woman's voice rang out.
"I need you to retrieve the marketing proposals from their department and give them to me!" A man ordered.
"Why is there no cream and sugar for the coffee?" Someone shrieked.
And thus Seto Kaiba had found his entertainment for the afternoon. He smiled, and then quickly ran for his heart monitor.
"How… does…she… do this… every day!?" Serenity panted, gulping down water from a paper cone. During that day, she had pushed enough paper to fill the room, stapled her hand to a stack of said paper, and brewed approximately 5 pots of coffee. And when their store ran out, guess who was sent to the Starbucks around the corner?
At least, since 3pm she had a charming helper. Mokuba was only too happy to shred paper for her, until he got bored and turned the paper into airplanes instead. And those things could go pretty far when thrown from the balcony.
"You actually seemed to do pretty well, what with no experience or warning," Seto Kaiba said, appearing suddenly, eyeing the surrounding area, which was now spotless. "It's impressive."
"Why thank you," Serenity replied, surprised. "I just tried my best."
"I know," Seto said, and all the workers left in the room visibly flinched at how creepy the CEO came across yet again. "And that's why I want to give you this!" He reached into the pocket of his trench coat, pulled his hand out, and… nothing. "Damn. I must have left it at the house."
"Left…what?" Serenity looked innocently at his hand. Was he going to give Serenity her archetype B back?
"Shirley's paycheck. It's yours now, seeing as you did all the work."
"Oh no, I couldn't possibly accept—"
"You will take it and you will like it—"
They squabbled for several minutes before Mokuba's voice cut through, booming as if from a loudspeaker, "Seto, you've got a call. Opportunity is on line 4."
"Well, tell them to hold; can't you see I'm busy here?" He turned to Serenity, a devious look in his eyes. "It seems like the only way for you to get the paycheck is to come with us."
Serenity stared at him, mind-boggled.
"To the house."
"You call this 'The House?!'"
…to be continued…
Saku: In case you couldn't tell, this was a chapter devoted towards all those fics revolving around workplace shenanigans… but there are some good ones out there. Here's what you can look forward to in the next chapter:
"It was a dark and stormy night…"
Kako: That's all you get! Guess what we're going to write about next!
Saku: The next chapter will probably come out right after Polaroids 2 gets finished… that was a joke, people. Expect it when you least expect it! Thanks for reading and review, please!