Title: Scenes Series
Pairing(s): Yami + Seto
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Shizuka interviews for a position at Kaiba Corp.
Status: 3 / 5
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/
Setup for this particular fic:
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Shizuka forced herself to breathe slowly, trying to hide her nervousness as she waited alongside the other applicants. She hadn’t known that the part-time, junior executive assistant position advertised on the online job board had been for a position directly under the Kaibas. She’d only found out once she’d arrived for the initial interview and, instead of being sent to a hiring manager or HR representative, had been escorted to the executive suites on the top floor.
Ms. Nozaka, Seto’s senior executive assistant, had conducted the first interview. Of course she’d known who Shizuka was, but she’d still had a job to do and procedures to follow. She’d started with a detailed explanation of the position – apparently the job was part-time because Mokuba and Noa only worked part-time, though it would eventually transition into a full-time position, and she’d mainly be supporting the other two secretaries while handling special assignments from Noa as needed. Then Ms. Nozaka went through the usual line of questions about her level of work experience, computer skills, and the usual "Where do you see yourself five years from now" sort of thing. She had jotted down some notes, asked if there were any further questions, then gave Shizuka a card with a time and date for a second interview.
Round two had been more of the same, except that Mokuba had been the interviewer. That had been slightly awkward, but he was a good kid, and he’d been kind and reassuring. It wouldn’t be so bad working for him and Noa, she’d thought, if she could get over the fact that her bosses were also her younger friends. But she wasn’t sure if she could handle working for their older brother…
She thought about all the rumors that swirled around Seto Kaiba, as a boss. He was loud and demanding and had a short temper. He was unforgiving of mistakes. But at the same time, he wasn’t unrealistic or unfair in his expectations. And those who were loyal and productive found themselves well compensated for their dedication.
And as a person, well, it wasn’t that she disliked Seto or was that intimidated by him. She had just never really understood him… the way he thought, the way he acted. Of all her friends and acquaintances, he was the most distant, the most unapproachable, and that was with Yami’s influence! So she’d always found it easier to smile politely and make small talk as needed, and nothing else.
Plus she already knew what her brother would say if he knew she was there. He’d turn red and holler, "No way in hell is my little sis working for that stuck up bastard!" or something in that vein. But even though Shizuka had heard stories of how Seto used to be, she didn't really share in her brother’s views, since the worst the young billionaire had done to her was ignore her.
She’d worry about explaining it to her brother later. No point in thinking about it when she still had the toughest interview to get through…
She looked around the lobby again, while continuing to feign interest in the magazine in her hands. Seto had to be going through the candidates at a pretty good clip; half of the dozen or so applicants that had been sitting there were already gone. She couldn’t help but compare herself to the others that were left.
There were two guys and four girls, including herself. They were all about the same age, college students or very recent graduates… all bright-eyed and eager to land an entry-level position in a high profile company. She wondered how her resume compared to theirs.
Oh, finally… Shizuka mentally sighed in relief. She stood up and gave a polite little nod as Ms. Nozaka came over to get her. The woman gave her a reassuring smile, then walked her to the set of wooden doors at the far end of the room.
Shizuka stepped in as the doors clicked shut behind her. She’d never been in there before and couldn’t help but take a quick look around. Seto’s office was palatial, to say the least. It was at least as big as her living room, if not more… and Otogi had a huge house. There were dragons everywhere, of course. She spotted one near the door that looked to be as tall as Seto. And the man himself was standing in the center of the room by his desk, a tall, imposing figure next to his equally imposing desk.
Yami was there too, leaning against the edge of the desk as if he owned the place. He really was a far friendlier man than Seto. But knowing that didn’t help put her at ease. If there was anyone who could be more intimating than the young CEO, it had to be his rival turned lover. Yami was an ancient king brought back to life. And he could use magic – he’d threatened her brother with it before, right in front of her. She just couldn’t wrap her mind around something like that. So while she didn’t dislike him, she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit afraid of him sometimes.
Thankfully, Noa and Mokuba were also in attendance…
Seto approached her with his hand outstretched. She shook it, that awkward feeling returning with how… business-like they were being. But at least he was behaving like it was a normal, proper interview, which meant he was considering her for the position, she figured. And really, what else could she have expected? Him to greet her with a hug like they were the best of friends? That would’ve been beyond awkward!
"Please have a seat, Ms. Kawai," Seto said, gesturing at a chair across the table from his.
"Thank you." She sat down and folded her hands in her lap. Seto took his seat as well. Mokuba and Noa seemed content to stand like bookends around their brother while Yami remained where he was.
Seto pushed aside the collection of resumes on his desk, looked her right in the eye and said, "I’ll make this simple: I don’t care about the nature of your relationship with Otogi and Honda…"
Shizuka opened her mouth, ready to explain – or protest - whatever assumption Seto was making. But one look from Seto and she shut her mouth again. He was expecting her to hear him out, and so she would.
"… but if I hire you, can you keep your personal life separate from your work life?"
She wasn’t sure what exactly Seto was asking, or why. "Umm…"
"What my brother means is, if you’re hired, you’ll have to be careful about what you say about Kaiba Corp. business. Otogi’s sorta in the same industry, you know? Even if he doesn’t mean to ask, even if you don’t mean to tell him… trade secrets aren’t something you can let slip out."
Shizuka felt herself nodding along. Mokuba had a good point; it made sense. The executive assistants saw a lot of confidential documents and communications pass their desks. "I understand. I can keep quiet," she replied, and as if to illustrate the point, left it at that.
Seto gave her a curt nod, then turned to his brothers. "Well, what do you think?"
Were they going to make the decision right there, just like that? Right in front of her? Without any further questions or consideration for the other candidates or anything else?
She held her breath, still unsure if she was overthinking things, if maybe she’d been expecting too much from the start, applying for even an entry-level job like this when she’d only had some reception and data processing type experience going in, when Mokuba spoke up.
"I approve," the black-haired teen said. "She is Shizuka, after all."
"Enough that we still haven’t figured out her whole ‘roommate’ situation," Noa mumbled, trying to keep his voice low so his words wouldn’t carry across the table. Shizuka didn’t look at him and didn’t respond, so Mokuba wasn’t sure if she’d heard it, but still he cleared his throat loudly and Seto looked from one to the other, brows twitching. "Well, I guess it’s fine with me then, considering..." Noa finally stated.
Seto nodded at his brothers, then paused to look at Yami. The shorter man simply inclined his head gracefully after several seconds.
Seto turned his attention back to Shizuka. He sat back slightly in his seat and steepled his fingers. "I’d like you to start beginning of next week if possible, but if that’s not doable…"
"Wait…" Shizuka began stammering. She glanced at Yami, wondering what he might’ve said to Seto, but the ex-spirit just smiled at her. "Um, I just… I don’t have an answer yet. About the start date, I mean. I wasn’t expecting it to happen this fast. And there’s still some people waiting to be interviewed…"
Seto stared at her. "You don’t want the job?"
"No. I mean, yes, I do want it! Thank you, Kai… er, Mr. Kaiba."
"You should know by now, Ms. Kawai, I make decisions quickly, for better or for worse." Shizuka quickly nodded in agreement, which made Seto crack a smile. "But I’d like to think I made the right decision here."
"… I’ll do my best."
"Good. Because that’s what I expect from all my employees." Seto paused a moment, typed something rapidly on his computer, then instructed her, "Stop by Nozaka’s desk on the way out. You’ll be making arrangements with her as to your start date. Once you’re ready, of course."
She swiftly bowed her head a little, mimicking what she’d seen other employees do. "Thank you, sir."
Seto grunted, though it wasn’t a sound of displeasure. He stood up and offered her his hand again, shaking it firmly, sealing the deal. "Welcome to Kaiba Corp."
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April 28, 2011