Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I'm making no money from this!
A/N: De-anon from the kink_meme. The general plot bunny is definitely accredited to the anonymous poster!! Completely AU setting. Uses human names. Will contain sexual situations.
It was Monday morning, and in the heart of London's financial district, the CEO of Heta Corporation walked briskly through the revolving doors of the sleek blue high rise. His polished shoes picked up the reflections on the equally polished granite flooring as he strode importantly past the security and front desk. A tousled head of sandy-blond hair stopped in front of one set of large golden lift doors, and stepped inside as they opened.
The lift rocketed to the topmost levels of the building, and only when the elevator pinged at his arrived destination did the CEO finally breathe out a small sigh as peaceful quiet surrounded him up here, in comparison with the rest of the complex. The British man reached into his breast pocket and pulled out his day timer, ready to get to work.
A little absentmindedly, Arthur Kirkland made his way down the hall to where his large, solitary, office was stationed. The layout of the executive suite was a lot like many of the other buildings in the vicinity – there was an outer area with chairs, a desk and a few shelves and cabinets (where a lower employee was supposed to sit and ward off any undue visitors or calls), before one reached the impressive doors of his private quarters.
He had been the practicing CEO of Heta Corp for 8 years now, and throughout all that time, Arthur had unconcernedly walked past the many people who had sat in the secretarial chair, preferring much more to stride straight into his haven and slam the door behind him.
Finding himself going to have a full day today, Arthur snapped his booklet shut and growled out his customary, "NO CALLS", as he reached for the shiny handle of his door.
His progress was completely stopped though, when his foot caught on a box and he nearly went flying.
"Ack! Egad, what… what is this?" Arthur muttered crossly and glanced down.
The floor was littered with a back log of boxes. Shock and confusion covered the British man's features and, in an uncharacteristic move, he looked up.
Yes, this was probably the first time that the copiously busy CEO had actually looked up from his planner and noticed that (also for the first time) the assistant seat was empty.
"What the devil…" Arthur looked around the room and realised that there were stacks of unorganized papers, files, and notes piling up on just about every surface there was. Rushing over to the secretarial desk, the green-eyed man dug through and pulled up a few notes he recognized as having tossed there over the past couple days.
That explained why he hadn't gotten those reports, the crumpets, or the taxi he'd asked for.
Shear bewilderment instantly unfurled in Mr. Kirkland's brain at the chaos, and he threw down the notes, kicking the boxes out of the way as he stormed inside his office.
"I cannot believe this…!" Arthur grabbed up his phone and began punching numbers with the great indignity of someone unwilling to admit they were left out of the loop.
In Arthur's world, things could never run tightly enough. He really had no time for all the Hoo-Hah and the nonsense Heta Corp's employees managed to raise on a daily basis, and sometimes it felt like nothing at all got done. Needless to say, because of this belief the CEO had garnered something of a crabby reputation among the lot of departments, but here… Here was his bloody proof!
The ringing finally stopped and a drawling voice picked up.
"Allô, ici Francis Bonnefoy, c'est de la part de qui-"
Arthur felt an aggravated tick start immediately on his forehead. "Bonnefoy, for the LAST TIME stop answering the bloody phone in that- that flighty excuse for a language! Get in here!" The British man slammed the receiver down and scowled, walking into the outer office to wait for the H-R director to arrive.
Fortunately he did not have to wait long, because a few minutes later there was a musical rapping at the opened door and the sound of someone with a thick French accent walking in.
"Good morning~ How can I-"
"Who the hell is in charge of all of this!?" Arthur instantly bellowed, gesticulating to the chaos of filing and backlog which filled the room around him.
Francis Bonnefoy, Human Resources Director extraordinaire, took a poignant moment to survey the disarray and the CEO's harried (well more than usual, anyway) appearance. A hand went to the Frenchman's artistically stubble covered chin as he tutted in reply.
"Mon dieu… Well, the old office manager quit a week ago. They were quite adamant about it- ah. Anyway, there was a memo delivered to you I'm sure~…"
A memo. A bleeding memo in this forest of paper? Arthur was certain he'd never seen the thing. In any case, it hardly mattered at the moment. The young executive felt like pulling out his hair in frustration.
"All right. Smashing. Then hire someone. At once." Honestly did he have to do everyone else's job around here too?
"Certainly~" Francis acknowledged a little too casually. "Who should I call up, hm?"
Apparently he did.
Arthur blinked hard in shock. "I don't know – someone with a few credentials, someone with two hands and two eyes! Hell! Someone who's just easy on the eyes!! I don't care who it is, just hire someone so all this gets done!"
He punctuated his point by throwing a folder on top of an already teetering pile. Said pile tilted and spilled over, covering the CEOs shoes in paper frustration.
Francis simply raised one silky French eyebrow. "Suit yourself, mon ami."
"And get it done by yesterday." Arthur stalked around in a huff and felt slightly better when he at last got to slam his door.
It was Tuesday, and Arthur Kirkland was once again zooming to the top of the Heta Corp building, his briefcase held loosely in one hand, the other holding his day timer as he frowned.
So absorbed in his routine, the British CEO walked straight into the office rooms at full speed– and was ultimately alarmed into freezing mid-step upon seeing an unfamiliar tall blond going through his things.
Arthur stared at the man's back as he rummaged and felt his large brows begin to furrow. The man was whistling to himself, and, having found something interesting, the blond took a seat on the file cabinet and started leafing through a few papers.
Arthur must have made a dubious sound, because suddenly the man looked up and saw him.
"Oh, hey there!"
The American looked up and saw him.
The newly-labelled American zealously made to get up, but Arthur had already backed out of the room, his expression equipped with drama.
The CEO very nearly leaped into the open lift and jabbed a button in a move worthy of the Art of Karate.
"Bonnefoy." Arthur barked as he reached the H-R department head desk. It was empty, and one more short and glowering elevator ride later, Arthur Kirkland was walking into the accounting department.
"Bonnefoy?" He looked around and then spotted the culprit sitting high among the uniform pattern of work stations. A few peels of laughter sounded around the Frenchman as he recounted something with a flourish, and Arthur's teeth clicked together in a quick seethe. No doubt Francis had left his post and was chatting up the other employees again.
"Francis!" Arthur hissed out, walking over belligerently. It caused an abrupt end to the giggles and laughter that had been going on just then.
"Oui, oui?" The Frenchman turned around at the sound of his name.
…Deciding to ignore Francis' incorrect whereabouts, Arthur favoured the other man with a cut-eyed look.
"Who is he and why is he touching my cabinet?"
The seated man looked unperturbed. "Ah! Him. Well, you did say hire someone... He is the new secretary."
Arthur turned an incredulous gaze on his H-R director. "He's the what?"
"Your new assistant, Monsieur Kirkland, please." The long haired man seemed on the verge of rolling his eyes.
Arthur just squared his jaw and scowled for more information.
Bonnefoy waved a hand. "Practically fresh out of school that one, but he had a certain… détermination about him. Strong in science and finance. Besides," Francis wiggled his shoulders and then pushed himself into a standing position. "He's easy on the eyes as well, no?"
"…." For once Arthur couldn't find something to say, as the H-R director had actually done what he had asked.
The insufferable Frenchman winked and sauntered away leaving Arthur to deal with it himself, as usual.
Not being one to let a reprimand slide, the Englishman turned his displeased gaze on the girl who had fruitlessly been trying to fade unnoticed into the wall of her small, gray cubicle.
"Might I make a comment, Miss Chelles? I needn't remind you that you aren't to be letting anyone distract from your work while you're here on company time, do I?"
The dark-skinned student-placement employee ducked her head dismally and muttered out a timely, "No, Mr. Kirkland."
"Yes, I should hope not." The chief executive replied, only slightly mollified. "Oh, and Miss Chelles, you can stop bringing me that poorly steeped tea from now on." The gears in his head seemed to be spinning quite fast all of a sudden. "I suppose this new hire will take over for that."
Arthur conveniently missed the unintelligible 'Thank god!' that was nearly a wheeze, and gave a probing glance around the sea of cubicles. Satisfied with the orchestra of keystrokes and ringing phones being answered, the CEO stalked off briskly to properly manage the apparent new hire that would, hopefully, bring an end to all his major problems and not screw it up.
Saya Chelles let out a breath as soon as the boss disappeared from view and immediately rolled her chair to the cubicle beside her. "Unfair! How come that invisible trick never works for me?!"
Matthew Williams smiled back at her sheepishly. "Just lucky I guess."
When the CEO returned to the scene of the crime, it was with a weary, pessimistic step. His green gaze was expectant and critical as he laid eyes on the strange new man who was to be his replacement secretary of sorts.
Said man was sitting at the now neatly cleared desk, eyes trained on a glossy, black piece of technology held in the palm of his hand. The American was swiveling his thumb so swiftly upon it that as Arthur watched on he felt the motion resembled a form of hypnosis.
The tousle-haired man cleared his throat in a pointed manner, drawing the American's attention.
As soon as he noticed Arthur, the American at once tucked the electronic away in his smart suit jacket, standing up from his chair and smiling an admittedly charming smile at the CEO.
Arthur was a bit miffed to see he stood slightly taller.
"Hi again. I figured you'd come back sooner or later." He commented (in a so typically brazen American fashion). "I'm guessing no one warned you I'd be here, but I suppose that's my job now, huh?" The man joked and fluidly slid a piece of thick paper across the desk top. "Arthur, right? Arthur Kirkland?"
"Yes, yes, hullo and all that-" Arthur impatiently snatched up the paper he saw was a résumé. He glanced at the name. "Mr. Jones. If you'd be so kind-"
Jones laughed, interrupting the stodgy CEO's spiel. The green-eyed man's frown became more pronounced. "May I ask what is so funny, Mr. Jones?"
The bespectacled man laughed lightly again, blinking blue eyes and giving a slightly amused smirk. "It's- it's the whole Mr. Jones thing. You can call me Alfred."
"…" Arthur stared and squared his shoulders, a mite unprepared for the cheery attitude.
"…Allow me to be the first and last to say it, since it appears no one has briefed you on the subject, but here at Heta Corporation it's the common practice to maintain a certain level of authority and respect at all times."
"Oh… yeah? That's so… impersonal." The man grinned, and Arthur blinked, marginally struck by how much younger he suddenly looked.
"At my last placement we all called each other by our first names."
Arthur felt his lip twitch in annoyance. "Right, yes. Well, Mr. Jones, you were hired out of immediate necessity- so do not be surprised if you aren't here for very long." Mr. Kirkland informed brutally.
Jones just raised an eyebrow before smiling a mysterious little smile that had Arthur looking back over his shoulder in suspicion as he entered his personal office.
The CEO slammed the door and from inside, his peevish voice drifted through to Alfred's ears. "Now do your job and organize those damned papers!"
It was nearing lunch time when the boss emerged from the lacquered mahogany door, the caffeine fix from his morning cup of tea having started to wear off.
Arthur gaped at the presently tidy surfaces which had just a little while ago been his major source of woe. He looked at his new assistant dubiously. "You can't have finished already."
Alfred smiled smugly from his chair and stopped biting on the end of his pen to gesture with it. "Sure, it was nothing. I started a slightly new system though. Your old one was like something out of the 50s."
Arthur's chin jutted out at that evaluation, brows furrowing as he hastened to find something wrong with this so-acclaimed new system.
The cabinet was filled with neatly aligned folders, all properly organized. The coding was actually quite easy to follow. The CEO flipped through them in growing disbelief. After a moment, his face settled on an expression of quiet and somewhat pleased surprise.
"Who are you then, Superman?" The CEO asked askance, but held his tongue from going further with it when Jones seemed entirely too proud with that comparison.
"Superhuman strength and X-ray vision?" Alfred's mouth tipped up at the side and… he rested a hand on his cheek, leaning as his baby blue eyes did a slow glance up and down. "I wish."
Arthur paused. He shifted the folder in his hands, feeling a small amount of heat unexpectedly warm his cheeks. He dragged his green gaze away and cursed internally, wondering why he suddenly felt as if he wasn't wearing any clothes.
"Nope, I'm plain old awesome Clark Kent, ready to get down and do the nitty-gritty." Alfred's smile widened into a grin and he adjusted his glasses, pleating his hands in an attempt to affect an appropriately bookish appearance.
Arthur disagreed on all accounts.
Somehow he knew this Alfred F. Jones was anything but mild-mannered.
The CEO found himself looking back over his shoulder at the new hire again, this time as he headed out for an important lunch meeting.
And for the first time of many to come, Mr. Kirkland began to wonder if this wasn't an introduction to an entirely new set of problems into his life instead of a solution.
End part 1.
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