Title: Can't Be Too Careful
Chapter 1: Stability
Pairing: Mainly Yogi and Gareki. I really love Akari, so some Akari and Yogi too.
Summary: Some years afterwards, in a modern Gareki works for Akari, Yogi comes as a new employee, and Gareki struggles with the stability of his life.
Disclaimer: I do not own Karneval or any of Karneval's characters or Nemo.
A/N: I thought the idea was really sweet... I promise the next chapter will be more interesting. ;D
Gareki's day consisted of the same repetitive and dreary things. He woke at 7:00 sharp, got prepared for work, picked out a dress shirt and nice pants. He ate a slice of toast with some butter, drank a cup of coffee, and took the train to work. He'd work hard and at noon, politely refuse someone who wanted to eat lunch with him. He'd then skip lunch and work until five, whence he would return back home and make dinner for himself, do the laundry, and work from home until he slept.
His routine was comfortable for him. It may have seemed boring to someone else, but it was stable. He was good at his job, and his co-workers respected him. He didn't have anything unexpected, even when the economy wasn't good. His company had a huge profit margin, and only dipped a little bit. He had a strong position, and lived life fairly decently. He had learned over the years that stability was necessary.
On a rainy Tuesday, Gareki arrived at work with an umbrella that was prepared two days ago. He kept track of the news and was never surprised by mother nature. He walked in to find that Akari was already on his first smoke.
"Good-morning, Akari-san." Gareki quietly greeted his senior as he passed by.
"Just call me Akari,"He replied, and shot him a look of passive frustration. They had worked in the same building for three years, and he still put a honorific behind his name. He put his umbrella away and hung his coat on his chair and took out his laptop, pulling up the statistics he would be showing during a meeting later on in the day. As he began to edit some things more employees walked in.
"Good-morning, Akari-san, Gareki-san." They would chirp, and his day would have gone on as it usually did... but instead of the two girls returning to their places quietly, they giggled about how someone new was coming to their floor. Gareki wasn't the manager, so he didn't know about things like this. He took it as simple gossip and returned to his work. By about 8:00, about everyone arrived, including the new employee. He walked in with a somewhat confused face. Akari looked up and greeted the blond-haired man. He led him to the cubicle across from Gareki. Some girls chittered about how unlucky the newbie was. Gareki was liked, but well known for being strict and unforgiving. The new person wore an open smile that hid a secret. His hair was unkempt, in a bed head manner. He was already greeting the people around him. Gareki stood up when the man turned to greet him.
"Hello, I'm Yogi. I hope we can get along." He had a firm grip, indicating a stable mindset. He smiled kindly, with reserve. His blue eyes were sharp, as if they could see through him.
"I'm Gareki. Pleased to meet you." Gareki returned, sitting back down to finish up his report. He could feel the sharp eyes linger on him. Akari remembered something as he began to walk back to his seat.
"Ah yes, if you have any questions Yogi, you can ask me." Akari said, returning to his desk. Gareki glanced up. Why didn't Akari just tell Yogi to ask him? He never willingly let people ask him questions. Usually that job was pushed to himself, since Akari was so "busy". All he really did each day was smoke and look at graphs on his computer. He guessed that he was probably just in a really good mood. (To even offer help! Unthinkable.) After 20 minutes, the new guy finished unpacking his stuff and began to fidget. He looked up and was about to call for Akari, but noticed that he was idly chatting on the phone, turned towards the windows. He fidgeted some more. Gareki glanced at him. He'd wait to see what he would do next.
Yogi finally turned in his seat and looked to Gareki.
"Hey.. um, Gareki-san, can you tell me what to do?" Gareki admitted that he looked sort of pitiful. His tie was crooked and he only had a laptop, a pen, and desktop on his table. He decided that helping him wasn't too bad of an idea.
"Sure," He stood up and shook the mouse of the sleeping computer. It zapped awake and he showed Yogi how to log onto the system using the company's access code. Yogi scribbled down notes. He was teaching him what the basic programming for the job when Akari appeared.
"Hey Gareki, can you finish up the report for the meeting this afternoon? I don't think you're done." His tone was commanding as he dismissed him.
"Yeah, um. Okay," Gareki had never been told by Akari to finish something up before. He always did his work without being told to do so. Did he do something wrong? He overheard Akari apologize to Yogi about how he had just downplayed his intelligence by reviewing basic stuff. Yogi laughed it off and said that it was fine. If he was so smart, then why did he ask him for help? Perhaps he already knew how, he just wanted to know what he had to do. A blush burned his cheeks. He hadn't been this unstable at work for a long time. Contempt rose like bile in his throat for the new guy.
Akari showed him what to do and patted him on the back. He smiled at him as he back away to his desk.
"I appreciate the help," Yogi said, with the same smile. Did he sense something different in the atmosphere...? He concluded that it must have been his embarrassment. It made him more self-conscious about everything. At lunch, Yogi scooted his chair over and leant on his table, pushing aside some important documents.
"Gareki-san, do you want to have lunch?" Yogi asked, giving him the same crooked smile.
"No, that's alright. I'll stay here." Right after Gareki finished his sentence he heard Akari walk up.
"Yogi-san, wanna grab a bite?" Akari was on his sixth smoke.
"Sure." There was no hesitation from him. He smiled with his mouth closed, but aloof, just like before. Gareki looked at his report. It was done, but he had other things to do. He pulled up another document and began writing a draft of an important submission. Yogi threw him one more glance before leaving. The girls didn't bother him when they saw that he was suddenly busy. He looked out the window to see Akari's arm over Yogi's shoulder, on the small sidewalk. He looked back to his work. It wasn't any of his business.
He spent another thirty minutes on his submission before getting up for some coffee. Coffee in hand he returned to find Akari leaning down to Yogi's ear, whispering something. Yogi laughed and turned his head away. Gareki sat down and Akari gave him a strange look.
"Is everything ready for the meeting?" He asked.
"Yes," Gareki replied.
"Good. Also, keep an ear out for Yogi's insight. He has some good ideas." He already dropped the honorific? He wondered how well you could become friends in the span of forty minutes. He had just arrived. Did that mean that Yogi was more experienced than he let on? He must have worked in the same field before coming here.
Yogi smiled at Akari, but when he looked at Gareki he gave a half-hearted shrug. He wondered what it meant.
At two, Gareki got his stuff together and walked to the meeting hall. The girls were behind him, talking to Yogi.
"Hey, did you work at a sister company? And then get switched out?" They had sharp eyes.
"Ah, yes." Yogi wasn't flustered anymore, and smiled with some confidence.
"That must mean that you're really good at this." They flirted with him easily, being single and young. Gareki wasn't very old, but he was old in his soul.
"Ah, no. I try to get all the help I can." Gareki felt like somewhat was looking at him.
The meeting began with Akari introducing a new line, telling them they needed a new marketing strategy.
"So, does anybody have any ideas?" Akari glanced at Yogi. He paused and then raised his hand.
"Actually, I was wondering if we could put a page in National Journal*. I know somebody who works there, so I can arrange that." Yogi was strong in his statement, different from that morning.
"Very good. Anybody else?" Akari was pleased. Gareki raked his mind for something. Only National Journal was new and hot, but not completely claimed by other huge corporations. Gareki sighed as he couldn't think of anything better.
"You guys are slacking today," Akari said, "Alright, let's have a look at our numbers." Akari glanced at Gareki unenthusiastically. Gareki stood and did his report, quickly filling them in.
"Alright. If nobody has any other suggestions, the meeting is adjourned." Gareki took his laptop and left. Yogi was being congratulated by some power-hungry followers.
"Yogi is amazing, and on the first day!" They were like baby chicks waiting to be fed. Gareki idly wondered if Yogi was told about the new line beforehand, at lunch. Gareki brainstormed some ideas for the item and wrote some crappy slogans down. He did some number crunching, and soon it was five o'clock. Yogi wheeled his chair over.
"Would you like to get some dinner?" Before he could reply, Akari pronounced that there would be a welcoming dinner for Yogi.
"Ah? You really don't need to!" He stood in genuine surprise, almost taken aback.
"No, we insist. The girls are looking forward to it." Akari was suave, tugging Yogi along towards the door.
"But I should probably get home..."
"It's for you, so you'd better come!" The girls giggled and playfully pushed him along.
"I'll come if Gareki-san does as well." Yogi said and then hesitated. He was right to hesitate. What did he have to do with him?
"Alright then. Gareki, you're coming with us." Akari took his jacket and stuffed his laptop and his papers into his bag. He was rushed about it, as if he didn't really care. Was Akari this much of a jerk when he first met him?
"Wait a second- why do I have to go exactly? Just drag him along! I don't have to go!" Gareki was instead towed out the door. Akari didn't pay him any mind. Yogi came along, and when they got to the train, only Yogi could fit in the crowded locomotive. He nervously smiled tried to get off, but the doors closed and they said that they'd take the next one. They were silent as they waited. A chill ran down Gareki's spine in the dark underground station. When they got aboard the train Akari crossed his arms and stared at Gareki.
"What do you think about Yogi?" Akari flipped open his phone.
"He works hard." Gareki said, looking out the window at the scattering lights. They flashed quickly as they whizzed by.
"If you're not careful, you just might lose your job." Akari joked, looking at him again. Akari was cruel. He knew exactly what his weaknesses were. Gareki was silent.
"I'm just kidding. You're always such a tight-ass." Akari stepped off the train as the doors opened.
"We are arriving at Brighton Square." They walked into the restaurant after walking out of the train. Gareki wondered if Akari did it on purpose. He was easy on him when he made mistakes, but there were times like these that he was sadistic. He wondered if the people in his personal life enjoyed this guy's company.
They walked in and found Yogi talking with the girls already. Yogi smiled and waved when he saw Akari. As an afterthought, he stared at Gareki. He looked away and pretended that he didn't notice. When the waitress got them a table, Yogi sat across from him. They ordered beer and some dishes that Gareki didn't really eat. He made a list of food he would rather be eating.
"So how old are you Yogi-san?" One of the girls asked, touching his arm.
"I'm 29." Yogi glanced at Gareki. He was older than him. It explained a lot.
"Wow, so smart and still young..." The girl was already idolizing the guy.
"Don't forget handsome." The other girl added, blushing. The two of them giggled.
"Are you single?" She asked, tilting her head.
"Ah, yes, I am." The two girls almost squealed. Gareki hated how loud and annoying their voices were. They looked upon Yogi like a gift from God. They never really bothered Gareki, only occasionally, and Akari was too scary for them. Yogi was kind, good-looking, smart, and young. He was what they were looking for. Gareki sipped his glass as he tried to erase the irrational thoughts from his head. What was he thinking?
"But I'd say that I've reserved my heart for someone else." Gareki felt a glance from the guy. Gareki sipped again. He needed to leave before the girls started assuming things. The girls started talking about their love lives, as if anyone was actually listening, and soon Akari was chatting with Yogi. Akari's phone rang as he paused mid-sentence. He looked at the screen and apologized.
"Sorry, I've got to get this." He picked it up and stood, to lean against a column facing away from the table.
Yogi looked at Gareki and down to his food.
"So how long have you been working here?" He asked.
"About three years."
"How old are you?" He was a bit skeptical.
"I'm about 23." Yogi whistled in surprise.
"You're really young. You must have worked really hard to get where you are." Gareki didn't respond. It was obvious, wasn't it? He worked his ass off to be there, poring his every second into making his job a success, even if he hadn't finished college. He was self-taught, in almost everything. His family didn't have enough funds when he was in school, so he dropped it and worked from clerk to assistant and to even better jobs after innovating products with important people. He had been taken advantage of a lot before getting his job under Akari. It was part of the reason why stability was essential. The night out was unstable, and despite his better reasoning, he found himself with a glass of alcohol.
"Hey, I have to go. Let Gareki cover the tab." Akari waved at them, to the protests of the girls. Gareki glared at him. He guessed that he deserved it, considering that he never ate with them, the least he could do was pay once. He stood to go to the cash register. Yogi had a grip on his arm. He was warm. Strong.
"I can pay for it. You don't have to." Yogi tried to push him back into his seat.
"No, it's your welcome party. I won't let you pay for something Akari pushed upon you." He shook him off and paid the bill with a debit card. Debit, not charge, for extra security. He was cold to other people, for extra security. Everything he did, he made sure to be careful about. He wrote down his purchases. He knew a great accountant who did his taxes. The girls waved goodbye as they tottered out the door. Yogi offered them a ride back, but they said that they were going to a club. Yogi grabbed his coat for Gareki. He bunched up his stuff and walked out the door, Yogi right behind.
"See you tomorrow, Yogi-san." Gareki headed down to the train.
"Just call me Yogi," Gareki felt like he'd heard that twice already that day, but perhaps he just might take his advice. He never thought of talking to Akari without the honorific. He shook his head as an afterthought. If he said that he'd call him by Yogi, their distance would get that much smaller. The two of them went down to the same train station, but Yogi went in a different direction. He sighed in relief while he wasn't looking. Yogi was about to ask something as he was about to leave, but at the very last moment smiled and said,
Gareki sat on a plastic blue seat and stared at the dirty floor. The train jumbled and wheezed as it zipped through the tunnel. The day was more eventful than usual, making him feel a bit queasy despite the fact that he hadn't eaten two meals. His stomach growled the whole trip back home.
He didn't want to be weak. His actions made him seem just like a "tight-ass", as Akari put it. But what else could he do? If he opened himself up to everybody, he'd just get hurt again.
Getting off at his stop he walked up the apartment steps, admiring the pots full of mossy beds on the side that made his building complex nicer than the ones around it. The annoying neighbor Jiki always took care of them, despite the fact that he was a sour and bitter young man with no other hobbies. He often made fun of the poor guy.
Gareki quickly changed into some more comfortable clothes and then made a steaming omelet, downing it in seconds. He took out his laptop and made himself a cup of tea, attempting to calm himself into rigidity once more, only to think back to Yogi and his strange looks. It just didn't seem right. Akari was different from usual... and Yogi was too friendly. He told himself to be extra cautious about the guy. He didn't see anything good coming out of their friendship.
He put the tea aside and spent an hour lying in bed attempting to fall asleep. Lights outside his window darted by waking him every five minutes. He wanted to slap himself for drinking the tea. He fell asleep after staring at his ceiling for another hour.
He woke up thirty minutes late the next morning, scrambling out the door for another day of unwanted anxiety.
*=Honestly just some random journal. Don't think too much of it.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Reviewing makes me happier than a tuna fish that escaped from a net like Nemo and swam to Bermuda Triangle only to be transported to another world and was treated like the king of another planet, then creating an army of tuna fish and coming back to the Earth to take control of everyone's minds and then convincing us that we were never taken control of in the first place. BY THE WAY: If you see any errors grammatically or something, if you can PM me that would be great.