Duration: April 2014
Leigh, Bastien, Kayla - Dolly at School
Nemo, Adrian, Mrs. Williams - Me
It was a strange feeling, having his own office. Leigh still couldn't quite get over it. He smiled and took in a slow breath as he looked around the room. It was a nice office, not too big but he had a beautiful view through the huge windows behind his desk. He had a couch back against the opposite wall, with a coffee table and two matching chairs on the other side. A perfect place for casual meetings or late nights.
His boss had gifted him a nice potted tree, which stood in the corner by the desk and, surprisingly, gave the room a totally different feeling than it had before he'd put it there. On the wall, he had a few of his best ads framed. His desk was an L-shape, with a hutch against the wall and two monitors for his computer work. On the hutch sat a few family pictures of himself and his two siblings--a younger brother, and an even younger sister.
His brother was almost a spitting image of him when he was younger--brown curly hair left in a mess, a round, boyish face and a mischievous glint in his greenish eyes. Lawrie himself had blue eyes--and now in his early twenties, his hair was tamer, though still wavy, and a bit wild. He had just enough scruff to make him look older and a bit rugged, but still young and fashionable. He had to maintain that perfect balance of youth, fashion and distinguished capabilities. After all, fifty percent of his job was selling himself and if the client didn't respond positively to the way he looked, they were less likely to respond well to his ideas.
Today, he was interviewing for his own secretary. It was a unique feeling. He wore a suit, of course--but he had taken his jacket off as soon as he arrived so he was sitting in his desk in a pair of black, slim-fitted dress slacks, a white button up shirt with his sleeves rolled up, and a blue tie his younger sister had given him as a gift. He pulled his cigarette from between his lips and exhaled slowly, licking his lips as he watched the smoke swirl up into the air above him. Was he supposed to smoke in his office? No. But his boss smoked as well so it had never been a problem.
His first interviewer would be coming in soon, and the receptionist would being them in for him, so all he had to do now was sit and wait. He was nervous, (though he didn't know why) but he didn't show it. He tried to look powerful but welcoming. That's what you want in a boss after all, right?
But that was what power dressing was all about. Well ironed charcoal grey designer suit. Check. Creamy silk dress shirt. Also check. A deep dark ocean blue necktie that brought out the color of his eyes. Definitely a check. Slicked back blond locks. Just when did he ever leave the threshold of his dwellings without his hair looking less than perfect? Next to never. Though for style, a few stray bangs were allowed to fall in front of his face. Casual elegance, he argued.
Despite his piteous fall from grace, Nemo never forgot (never shall, never ever) to remain meticulous about his appearance. Besides his education, this one of the very few properties that he was left with and would be damned if he watched it slip from his fingers.
It was difficult to tell from the natural poise and confident air he walked with that said suit was the only suit remaining in his possession. Imagine, the blond had pawned and sold majority of his expensive suits for so much less than they were. His loss was obviously someone's gain. These days he found himself sporting thrift shop buys and triumphant purchases during sales. They were sometimes itchy and always a struggle to have. One of his vests had a memorable story of having been ripped and tattered on shop premises during a sale squabble wherein his competitor simply decided to concede and let him purchase the damn thing. His gain. Nemo had experience with needles and pattern making having assisted a tailor or two for a time. It was then he learned that the clothes do not make the man, it was the man who made the clothes. So the young man wore his cheaper than dirt clothes with grace and arrogance like no other. He was charming as the devil on any given day so why the hell not?
But he was an older man now. Yet the wear and tear of age didn't wear him out. If anything, it served to sharpen his appearance and make him look more distinguished and handsome. Nemo still sported the light tan of his younger days: the better days when he was in the basketball varsity and won trophies for his alma mater, the happier times of fun in the sun, on a surf board or screaming his lungs out water gliding and admiring the sparkling waters of the beach side. The nevermore days...He was mostly thankful for the fact that his best friend had adopted both himself and his mother, bless her never sober self, so he was able to continue to hold on to at least being able to lift weights and do his daily runs in peace. Pitiful Nemo, that was the extent of his being a godawful charity case. If it hadn't been for Adrian's concern, God only knew where he would be right now.
Never mind the what ifs. He was here about to cross the threshold of the ad agency he would be possibly employed at. Focus, return to the present. Inhale. Exhale. No more time to have life flash before your eyes, Nemo. You're the master of your fate, the captain of your soul. But it was difficult, oh so difficult. Not after all the sh*t you've been through so far then suddenly a light at the end of the tunnel! The blond held no expectations for this job and just typed away an application form with a devil may care attitude then showed up for the qualifying exam. The jobs he had HOPED to get into, science, medical, something with related to the goddamn dream, there was no call, no rejection. Only bitter silence. For weeks. Then the fateful call...
Nemo tugged at the collar of his jacket and held his chin up high. Interview left. He was not going to f*ck this up. With that he glided oh-so powerfully and so confidently to the receptionist. Once there, the blond leaned lightly, clutching his now folded up trench coat and smirked.
"Good morning," the man started with a low, silky voice, "I have an appointment for an interview for the position of copywriter at Holland Mark at..." He took a deliberate pause to raise the edges of his jacket and reveal a beautiful golden watch then emphatically stated the time. He was thirty minutes early. Professional. Always make a good impression. Even if it was towards the humble receptionist. You'll never know whose eyes were on you at any given time. "I took the qualifying exam a week ago and am now to be screened for an interview. My name is Gregory Earnest Williams. "
The pretty, young receptionist offered Gregory a smile and looked down at the calendar in front of him. She looked confused for a moment, before she found his name on it and smiled. "Oh, yes," she said. "Here you are. Welcome to Holland Mark." She pushed her blonde hair off her shoulder and looked back up at the man. "You're a little early," she told him as she stood, glancing at her own simple wrist watch.
She was slender an curvy--very pretty. Her looks had been part of the reason she got the job. After all, the girl out front greeting people should be someone pleasant to look at, right? Still, she wasn't without her own qualifications. "I'll see if he's ready for you. You...do know that the position is for a s--" she paused and rethought her choice of words. "For an assistant, not an actual copywriter. The firm usually hires people low and has them work their way up."
She was trying to be encouraging, but still honest. She smiled at him and held up her hand briefly as she picked up the phone. "Mr. Morgan," she started--then paused and blushed with a smile. "I couldn't," she said, then looked up at the man waiting for her like she suddenly remembered she was supposed to be telling him his interviewee had arrived. "Um, Mr. Williams is here."
There was a pause, and then she smiled. "No, your interviewee for your front desk position. Yes. No, he's early." She smiled apologetically up at Nemo. "Yes, sir. I'll bring him back." She hung up the phone and smoothed out her skirt. "He's ready for you, Mr. Williams," she said, waving her hand and stepping forward to pull open a glass door that led into the rest of the office. "Come with me."
She led him back through the office. The walls were mostly clouded glass panels, which gave each separate office privacy but kept the area well lit, elegant and very modern looking. There was a common area in the middle of the office where a group of young junior copywriters were working together--or rather arguing together--over coffee and donuts. Finally, in the back of the office, there was an empty desk and an office with the door ajar. LEIGH MORGAN was printed neatly across the front of it. She knocked and then opened the door with a smile. "Please go right in."
Leigh stood when the door open, stepping out from around his desk to greet his interviewee. "Thank you, Meghan."
Nemo was a nickname. It was the name his mother decided to give while waiting for him to pop out into the world. She had vehemently refused to be informed or inform others of the sex of her firstborn. Wanted it to be a surprise. Much of her pregnant days were spent in the seaside villa, waking up to the view and scent of the sea. Thus, his names (even his possible female name) were nautical in nature. Gregory was his grandfather's name. Earnest was taken from the name of the poet Willam Earnest Henley who penned Invictus and coined the blond's 'live by quote' for all time.
I am the master of my fate. The captain of my soul.
And unlike most sh*t that had been thrown his way, this was one thing that he was responsible for. The fact that he had applied for a job of a higher rank than intended came as a curious surprise. What. Was he really THAT drunk when he was job searching to have MISSED that? The blond smiled in turn, hiding his surprise to his ability and decided it was a blessing in disguise. Think of it this way, he was qualified for something much more than grunt work. The comforting thought warmed his insides and made him feel smug. Perhaps this was just the beginning of nice things to come, you know---of the kind that he was most deserving to receive. "I see. What a pleasant surprise," Nemo laughingly said, shining brightly at the confirmation.
He took off after her, smirking triumphantly and careful not to bore holes on the her back and backside. The receptionist's good looks had not gone unnoticed to Nemo and he found himself...quietly admiring and unusually more generous with his smiles that morning. If God willingly his new boss would take him after everything, then, she would probably one more wonderful thing to wake up to, go to work for and maybe more? Nemo laughed inwardly at how he allowed his mind to run away from him again.
Upon his arrival in front of his prospective work place, the man soaked his eyes on the view of the agency as much as he could and imagined himself there. Somehow, he felt at home. The sound of energetic chattering made him feel at ease. But despite that, Nemo couldn't deny a strange sense of dread fill his senses. Like the feeling of some unfortunate inevitable. It was indescribable and was rendering his midsection gastric and he could feel the painful twisting of his gut in response. As discreet as possible, the blond reached into his jacket and popped a calcium carbonate tab to ease the stomach ache. He was rarely nervous.
Leigh Morgan. So it was a Mr. Morgan. Unisex name. Didn't seem powerful enough, he thought to himself as he stopped on his heels and gave himself a final preening. It did seem rather familiar for some reason. Common names. Also, the chick's name happened to be Meghan. He committed the fact to memory and reigned his thoughts, found his center and connected himself to the energy of the universe. Feeling satisfied with himself, Nemo exhaled deeply and put on his best smirk on then entered the office.
"Good morning, Mr. Morgan. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm honored you decided to grant me an early reception. I overestimated the traffic it seemed."
The nagging feeling and the pain in his gut seemed to be have multiplied, making him hurt even harder the moment he stepped in and stood there, waiting to be seated. It was impolite to simply invite yourself to pull back a chair and seat yourself in these cases.
Familiar, for sure--but not the two names together. Leigh's last name in high school had been different. He was born Leigh Taylor, but in an attempt to start over had changed his last name after adopting his siblings to Morgan--after the only teacher in high school he had actually liked.
Leigh was surprised when he saw the an he would be interviewing. Gregory Williams wasn't an entirely uncommon name, so it had never hit him that it could actually be this Gregory Williams. He felt his stomach twist a bit from the surprise, but he didn't let it show. He couldn't. If he acted in any way like he remembered Nemo, it would just be embarrassing. After all, back when he was fifteen or so he had pretty much thrown himself at the other, only to be coldly rejected in a most humiliating way. Nemo, after all, was popular, good looking and good at sports. Leigh had been...pretty at best, a bit childish looking, and was actively involved in detention and shoplifting.
He waited for Meghan to leave and reached his hand out to Nemo for a firm, confident hand shake, his other arm motioning to the seats across from his desk. "Not a problem, Mr. Williams. It's good to meet you, have a seat." Meet you... He wondered how long he should keep up the charade. Did Nemo recognize him? Should he mention it, or pretend like he didn't realize? If he did that it would certainly come up eventually, right? What did he do then, pretend to be shocked?
He would just keep his mouth shut for now and see how things went. Either way, for once, he was the one in the position of power now. He took a seat at his desk and smoothed out his tie. "I looked at your resume. I have to admit I was a little surprised that you even applied for a job here, considering your past concentrations. What made you think of Holland Mark as a possible future for your career?"
Good. He sounded totally cool and businessman-ish.
No, he didn't recognize him. Hardly.
But Nemo couldn't shake off the pangs of familiarity and the heightened mix of curious dread for what fate had in store for him. Something. He was no psychic but he had friends who were more than happy, much to his chagrin, to thoroughly educate him of 'those moments'. They called it... 'Deja vu'. When one was unbelievably familiar with the unfamiliar, it was likely to be deja vu.
Smile in place, but keening in obvious misery in his mind, the blond looked sharp and immaculate in his suit. He took Leigh's hand in a firm handshake, then raised his gaze to the brunet and meet his eyes. Or at least look like it. Extemporaneous speaking tip: look in between the eyes of your audience in times where eye contact is needed. It assures that your full and undivided attention is on them. It's also the fool proof way to prevent random and unaccounted sputtering caused by direct eye to eye contact that made most people weak in the knees. Or feel insulted. It was then that Nemo froze up and time decided to go in slow motion, frame by frame.
He couldn't put a finger on it just yet but the voice at the back of his voice told him he KNEW this guy. But from where?
Giving the other man a second and firm squeeze, he released his hand before it got too awkward and was more than happy to be seated. Anymore would've been too bad as Nemo was starting to feel unusually warm and dizzy. Focus, focus... You are one with the universe. You are the universe, the universe is you...
When the question had been thrown at him, the blond was caught a little off guard. His mind had not caught up yet with the shock and he gave Leigh a soft confused look before straightening up with a discreet cough. Nemo apologized with a soft chuckle and eased himself into a more relaxed position, across Leigh. The man crossed his legs and laced his fingers, resting them against his thigh.
...I don't know. I'm sick of being harassed everyday and barely getting minimum wage? The blond sighed to himself. His last job has been a mess. Nemo worked at an upper class restaurant, a branch of one of the many haunts he used to frequent as a younger man. The irony that he had to end up working there eventually. His boss had given him a graceful exit after the scuffle he had been involved with that resulted in damages in the house, a food fight and injured patrons. Never mind that he sported a broken lip, bruises and bleeding fists in the end. It was well worth it. Most of the time, his good looks were a blessing but for some time it had proven to be a curse. He was forced to resign and turn over his uniform without pay for beating a patron and his party. It was defense of virtue in the line of sexual harassment. Nemo's firm backside had been given a tight squeeze and the man saw red. He was so done quietly 'taking it like a man'. And so was his job.
"There comes a time in a man's life that they want to expand their horizons," he started, voice firm and cool with confidence. Leigh wouldn't know he was just saying stuff out of the blue and was practically bullsh*tting. "As you can see from my past employment records, I've been a bit of a jack of all trades and didn't last quite long. Some because the business had gone bad, some simply because it was time to move on... But as much as I hate to admit it, they were hardly intellectually stimulating and worthwhile for the long term. Thus, I considered a chance in dabbling into the profession of writing, seeing that for as long as there is mass communication and the profound human need for communication, we will always have clients at our doorstep. Or inbox for that matter."
He would have given himself a standing ovation for pulling that sh*t up from out of nowhere. It sounded...so profound. Key word being sounded. Besides being pretty to look at, Nemo was well aware of his charisma. Even at a young age, he knew this. "...Why Holland Mark. That's a good question, Mr. Morgan. Quite frankly... I'm not quite sure either. I know this is something you shouldn't admit so openly to a future employer but I'll be honest. I really don't know. I'm anything but a spiritual man but---do you believe in fate, sir? You would probably think me crazy but I just felt that it was right to be here. I've only handed in my application to your agency and simply hoped for the best."
Now that wasn't bullsh*t. It was the truth. The edge in Nemo's words added sincerity to the message. "I used to play for the varsity in basketball back in my youth and one of the things that kept me going was that I trusted my gut feel. For that, I'm seated across you right now."
Leigh nodded his head a little and sat back a little more casually. "Yes, I know," he said with a nod when Nemo referred to his past in Varsity basket ball. He cleared his throat quickly and sat up again. "That is, I can tell by the way you carry yourself," he corrected himself. "You can always tell." He lowered his eyes and looked at Nemo's resume and moistened his lips with his tongue. "Well, I certainly don't see anything on your resume that lends itself poorly to you as an employee."
Well, that was f*cking close. Or, perhaps he had just given himself away? He wasn't sure how quick Nemo would be to pick up on that little f*ck up. He shifted his weight in his chair and pulled a second cigarette out of his front pocket, placing it between his lips. He didn't light it just yet, but he kept it there and played with it lazily with his tongue.
He lifted his blue gaze back to the man's face and canted his head slightly to the side. "How flexible are your hours? This job requires dedication and occasional late nights if I need you here while I'm working on a project. Most of the other secretaries and writers keep a toothbrush and deodorant in their desk," he added, as an example of how everyone here was used to late nights. "I don't know that I will be needing you to stay late, but when I worked as Mr. Mark's assistant, there were some nights he would ask me to stay so late that I ended up sleeping on the couch in his office."
There was an interesting little tidbit that proved that this office was one that hired people at a basic level, and slowly moved them up. At least, for the most part. There were the occasions where a copywriter was hired right off the bat due to talent, but most of the talent here was brewed and shaped right in these very walls.
"You will be the only person aside from myself who will have a copy of the key to my office, as well as to my desk. That's a big responsibility," Leigh continued. "I have to be sure I can trust you with something like that."
Nemo's eyebrows shot up to his hairline at the statement 'Yes I know'? He cast the brunet a curious look mixed with obvious surprise. Didn't help the nonchalant and knowing tone and body language Leigh had exercised when he delivered the line. That only added to the crawling suspicion that they knew each other somehow. What. So his gut feel told him to come to Holland Mark to meet his f*cking soul mate, then? The blond stopped himself at that thought. He was clearly hanging out with his mother's psychic friends and had taken in too much of their hocus pocus sh*t a little too much for his liking. He found himself leaning forward in anticipation of what else the brunet would say then after.
It was definitely strange.
Or maybe did he mean 'Yes I know' under a different context? Like... knowing about the power of trusting your gut feel. Or something. Ah there. Leigh commented about 'the way he carried himself'. Seemed perfectly legit enough. First impressions after all. The blond was anything but a shrinking violet about his person. Nemo nodded, humming in agreement and leaned back slightly, back brushing lightly against the seat as he breathed in.
Still couldn't get the thought off his mind somehow.
When the man called him out on being anything but a bad employees, he bit back a laugh and settled for a grin that spoke volumes. At least the boss had been merciful enough to pitch in his good word on Nemo's demeanor and skipped on the brawl. The bastard had it coming anyway. If it was brought to court, the blond was somehow confident he would win it because it was anything but an isolated case. Besides, the cameras do not lie. If no one spoke, the footage would do the talking for them all. He quietly thanked his boss, bless his soul, for deciding not to be bitter about the past and letting him move forward.
"My hours are open," he responded. Since the death of his social life, Nemo's routine was reduced to home, work, eat out if applicable and then go home. The man was practically a hermit. If he went out on the weekends, it was hardly for any kind of celebration. The blond couldn't even hold a decent, healthy relationship for more than six months before throwing in the towel. Dating was expensive. It also took time. He didn't have either.
Eventually the smell of nicotine reached his noise and he found himself waving the front of his face, willing it away as he snorted in discomfort. Nemo didn't smoke. Not anymore. It wasn't healthy and as he had seen in the flesh, the way the deadly habit ravaged his college toned body was not pretty but it did hold comfort and the needed buzz back when he was desperately trying to cope with everything. He stopped. It was hard but it happened. He was proudly clean for over two years now. "I don't have any problems with that at all. Mr. Morgan. I can tell it's going to be hardly a walk down the park but there are things that have to be done. As long as I'm properly paid and in possession of my fringe benefits and privileges of being part of Holland Mark, you can count on my service. I hardly complain about work. But, you'll have to forgive me for complaining about---the smoke. Sorry."
The blond smiled boyishly at him at the end of his comment about the smoke. He hoped Leigh would get the message to put the goddamn stick out. If the man was smoking to stay awake then let it be known that he was a master of brewing coffee of varying flavors and temperaments. For once, that was more of a hobby than brought about by work experience. If the brunet willed it, Nemo wouldn't mind putting his talent to the test just...put the smoke out already.
The entire time, Nemo couldn't help but observe his future employer with deep interest. Who was this man? Why was he so painfully familiar? And that slip.
He was dying to just ask him already.
"...Mr. Morgan, I do have something I'd want to clarify though. It's been...bothering me since I arrived," there he said it. No more turning back. "Have we met before? Your eyes look familiar to me."
He'd been asked outright, so he couldn't exactly lie. Leigh sighed out a puff of smoke and put his cigarette out. He had scoffed in amusement (perhaps at the audacity?) of the other man asking him to put it out, but he did it either way. He set it down and leaned back in his chair, watching Nemo closely as he used one foot to turn his chair back and forth a small bit. He was thinking, though the look on his face was both amused and calculating.
"You've got the job, Mr. Williams," he said simply--standing up and smoothing down his tie once more. He reached out for another handshake, giving him a dashing smile that said 'don't disappoint me.' "You can schedule with Meghan your first day, and let her know what supplies you will need. She'll give you some paperwork with details on exactly what will be expected of you, office protocol and my current projects."
For a moment, it seemed as if he was going to ignore the question completely. But then... "Oh, and we have met before. It's been a decade, but we went to the same high school for a short period of time." Short period because he had dropped out the next year.
Hearing that he had gotten the job filled him with so much happiness that he could account for. When was he THIS happy? Nemo couldn't recall at all. This was his first proper job in years with the right amount of pay, prestige and honor as well as the good working ambiance. He was actually going to have his own desk, things... and work in an office! God only knew how much the man wanted the chance to decorate his own desk. Bonsai? Action figures? Ooh... Definitely a photo of his mother and his little sister's family. Yes, that was a must. This was a job he could finally tell about without any shame or any pretenses. There would days he could ticket for leaves and observance of holidays. Insurance, health benefits and even other wonderful things. And for some reason he wasn't quite sure, the blond also found himself rejoicing at the idea of a clean and constantly attended lavatory to retreat to in times of need. Previous jobs... barely stuck to the sanitary codes, let alone had a janitorial help supervising the cleanliness of the seats and sinks.
Then the pretty receptionist flashed in his mind. Oh yes, Meghan. That was a good reason to be chipper about work. There was no way he would pass out on the opportunity of being around the pretty girl. Nemo would see to it to make the most of the time. One does not refuse the graces when it is handed to you on a silver platter.
He practically sprang up on his feet and took Leigh's hand, giving it a firm and ecstatic shake. Nemo's face was set in a wide grin, truly grateful at the opportunity, "Thank you... Thank you so much Mr. Morgan. I won't disappoint you. I'll do my best."
When the silence stretched out, the blond became worried. Then the bomb was dropped. Once again, time went on slow motion and his employer's words seemed to play in a drawn out and sluggish distortion of his current voice.
Nemo only knew one person who dropped out of high school. He'd never admit it but the blond nursed feelings of guilt for it, thinking that he had been part of the brunet's decision to leave school. Then again, if he was in Leigh's place, he wouldn't have the balls to show up at school after being put to shame to that extent. He was a child once, unusually cruel and indiscriminately power trippy.
The color on the man's face faded as his hands felt limp wrapped around the brunet's own. T-this was... No f*cking way. Nonononono. He audibly swallowed, filled with horror at the hypothesis that was forming in his way.
He recalled when it was made official that Leigh did drop out and practically disappeared of the face of the earth, or at least to the sphere of consciousness of majority of everyone in high school, Nemo felt sad. He was remorseful and quietly decided that if he would be given a chance in hell to meet the boy again, an apology would have to be put to order. It was unnecessary to break his heart. There were other ways.
As it was, there were certain plans that did not translate properly into reality.
Like that one just now. Actually, it went flying out the window. Nemo completely forgot he even said those things. T'was okay though. No one knew anyway. Just him.
The blond shrunk away violently, wrenching his hand from Leigh's and nearly knocked back the chair behind him. His eyes darted from side to side as the facts began to add up in his mind. It was clear now. Nemo's breathing came out ragged in short, heavy bursts as he mumbled the word no repeatedly under his breath. He turned to glare at Leigh with a strained expression. He looked confused...angry and very much surprised. "You...," Nemo wheezed out. His expression looked strained. He seemed confused... angry and very surprised. "You---It's you! And...and... You KNEW it was me! YOU KNOW WHO I WAS THE ENTIRE TIME." His voice increased in volume with each word he spat out, something he wasn't aware of. When he finally did though, the blond fell quiet and he couldn't help the frustration welling inside of him. Nemo fell on the chair unceremoniously as he grabbed at his hair and grunted in frustration, face hidden away from the other's view.
"...sh*t. Leigh, the f*ck did it have to be you?," he asked in a sob and a quieter tone. "Why the hell did it have to be you...?!"
He expected no answers of course. But... really why Leigh of all the people?
Well.... He had certainly expected some sort of response (though he wasn't sure if the man would even remember him at all...) But, this response was far from what he was prepared for--and it showed on his face. His bright blue eyes widened a bit as his brows lifted up. He had started when Nemo dramatically tore himself away from the handshake. He watched him, quietly absorbing the reaction.
When he opened his mouth to speak, there was a knock on his door, and a feminine voice rang out gently. "Mr. Morgan...?"
Leigh turned slightly and looked at the shadowy silhouette in his doorway. "It's fine," he said. With that, the shadow left his door and he turned back to Nemo calmly.
"So, you still hate me that much after all these years," he commented blandly. It was the only reason he could come up with for such a violent reaction to the realization of who he was. He turned calmly and went back to his desk, lifting the cigarette he had only just put out to see if he could relight it. He could, and so he did...and he took a slow drag from it as he stared out the large window behind his desk. "And all I ever did was admit to having a crush."
He chuckled a little--though without seeing his face it was hard to see if he was amused, or hurt. "The job is yours if you want it... but decide soon. If I don't hear from you in a few days on the matter, I'll have to hire someone else. And that was that... He didn't explain himself, or further the situation in any way. If Nemo pushed, he would. But for now he would leave it at that, hoping it was enough to give the other room to calm down. Then, he considered and decided to add one more thing, turning to face the other calmly.
"I didn't know it was you until you walked in."
Hate was too strong a word. Nemo shrugged at accusation, sighing as he rubbed the back of his neck. The blond shut his eyes close and focused. Did he hate Leigh? No. Not even one bit. The brunet was simply unfortunate to be caught in the cross fire of naive and cruel teenagers who had too much pomp straight to the head and much drink beyond legal limit. To be honest, Leigh was a nobody in highschool. He didn't exist to in his world and was nowhere to be found in his network of friends. Friends... He shuddered at the word, thinking back at the kind of company he kept when he was much younger. A good majority of all those people were no longer part of his life, thankfully. They had proven to be less than deserving of being a friend to him, let alone to anyone else. What a petty life he lead as a child under the influence of such horrid group mentality...
If there was anyone who was deserving of hate, it was not Leigh. No. Not ever. It wold have to be his parents. The other woman. The children. But no, Nemo hated none of them. Life was too short. Being angry was tiring. The blond didn't want to carry the cross of hatred forever. It was heavy and worthless. Brought no one any good and wouldn't shed light into his situation.
There was so much to say, so much to do. All of which were a whiny, attention seeking little b*tch demanding to be addressed first and foremost being oh-so important. The amount of it all rushing through Nemo's mind was overwhelming. He felt like he was going to drown from it all.
Nemo decided to break the silence. "No," he said softly. Too soft. It was barely audible. Even he couldn't hear himself right. The blond repeated himself, the word coming out harsher than expected. Again. He sucked in his breath and steeled his voice into a calmer tone, "No. I don't hate you." That wasn;'t too bad, the blond thought to himself. While it was anything to celebrate about, he gave himself a proverbial pat on the back for his efforts.
It's hard to hate someone you don't even know...
The brunet's words with regards the job were heard but he made no move to confirm receipt. A heavy silence hung in the room and created a thick, tense atmosphere. The kind you could cut a knife through with.
Leigh was alive.
Leigh was now a Mr. Morgan.
Going to be working for Mr. Morgan. Wasn't that their teacher's family name? The one he was rumored to have slept with. The implications of it made his eyes widened in horror. Was he and the teacher together then? Like... civil union and with a change of family names sort of together.
He was going to be working for a certain Mr. Morgan who happened to be---
It was at that moment when Nemo raised his gaze to meet with Leigh's and with no disguised need for pretenses decided to just ask.
"Are you still---gay?," The word 'gay' was spoken awkwardly, almost choked out."I know you said something about bisexual but we were all young. I was young and with a stupid streak for all my intelligence's worth. I experimented with mediocrity and look where it got me," A pause. A rather nervous chuckle, "You could have been just experimenting..."
Leigh exhaled slowly through his nose, and rolled his eyes at the question. He took another drag from his cigarette to keep himself from getting angry, and held it in for a moment, closing his eyes. Finally, he exhaled, a stream of smoke sliding out from between his lips. "I'm bisexual," he reminded Nemo quietly. He looked down at the cigarette. It was almost gone. He smothered it into his ash tray and turned to face Nemo fully.
"Don't want to work for a faggot?" he asked, lifting a brow slightly. He was trying to keep calm, but his insides were twisted up into knots. "I'm not going to try to rape you, if that's what you're afraid of. That's not what we do."
He pulled his chair out and took a seat with a sigh. "Look, it's been a f*cking decade. I don't want to start kicking all of this sh*t back up for no reason. Do you want the job, or not?" He was trying not to sound angry. He wasn't really angry. He wasn't sure what he was feeling. He would have been fine if he had gone on pretending he didn't know the man.
Then he thought about it. His last name. Oh, god, he could only imagine the things Nemo was thinking about him right now. He stared at him quietly for a long while, before sitting back with a sigh. "I didn't sleep with Mr. Morgan," he told him with a frown.
He could use a drink right now.
That was the only clear thought in his mind amidst the muffled out and barely discernible shrieks and whispers of everything else that were brought about by the revelation. The thoughts made his head hurt, pounding mercilessly like an angry stampede of fleeing animals. Yes, definitely could use a drink. Didn't matter what and where, Nemo badly needed the bitter warmth that it provided. The comfortable buzz was great and the ease of sleep that came after even better. Yes, he'd have to make means to have it happen.
It would be the best way end this day that had decided to f*ck itself so early in the morning.
"Oh," he responded plainly. Flat. Monotone. Void of any emotion. Well that answered his query regarding the old man and put a lid on it. Also, the brunet confirmed he was bisexual. Okay. Though Nemo really didn't care. What Leigh did on his free time between the sheets was none of his goddamn business. Though it was good to know that being the victim to sexual harassment in this work place was going to be at the least of his worries. The blond sighed deeply and rolled his eyes, slapping his face for measure. Did he really have to think of that...?
Worse was the creeping, slither of a voice that begged to ask him a most horrifyng aspect: Would it really be sexual harassment if you were willing in the first place?
What if you want it? What if you want to try?
Nemo bit the insides of his cheek. "No. I was simply curious and---for f*ck's sake, Leigh---Mr. Morgan. Ah sh*t." Concerned. The word died at the back of his throat the moment the brunet raised his voice at him. Angry now? He paused and rubbed his hand over his face. "Can it," he finally managed through gritted teeth. It came off almost like a hiss, "I could care less who you bring to your bed and what you do there. Yes, you're right, it's been a good ten years since. I'm not the one kicking up sh*t here. I'm over that phase in my life when name calling seemed phenomenal, Leigh. I have no intentions of going back And yes, I want the damn job. I'll pay that woman a visit and get everything ready for tomorrow." The blond snapped dismissively, out of energy and just...plain extinguished. He clearly wanted the conversation over already.
Once it was silent again, only then did he realize why his eyes were tearing up and he couldn't breathe easy. Leigh was smoking again. He opened his mouth to argue but was just too tired to care. Instead a piteous groan of agony escape and he simply buried his face in his hands, wallowing in his misery.
If he was truly going to be this man's personal secretary the smoking would have to go. There was no way in hell Nemo would let him get away with it. If he managed to quit, then Leigh could too.
"Actually," Leigh said slowly. "You're exactly the one kicking up sh*t. I would have been perfectly content to not talk about it at all... but since we have started talking about it, I guess we're going to have to talk about it." He leaned back and shook his head, then sighed and leaned forward again, picking up his phone. "Hillary, bring me some ice," he said into the phone, then hung it up again and stood up. He moved over to the credenza against the back wall and opened a cabinet to reveal a miniature bar inside.
"I know I could use a drink," he said. Who cared that it was before ten? He pulled out a bottle and stared at it. "And the look on hour face says that you need a drink."
The door of his office opened, and a pretty brunette stepped into the room with a small ice bucket. She smiled a little at Leigh as she walked over to set it onto his credenza. "Breakfast, Mr. Morgan?" she teased lightheartedly. Someone obviously had a little crush.
Leigh chuckled a little and nodded his head. "Celebrating," he lied. "My new assistant, Mr. Williams." He seemed to be encouraging the flirting.
The girl turned to look at Nemo and smiled. She waved her fingers, then turned back to Leigh. "Let me know if you need anything else," she said, before she turned to leave the room--swaying her hips as she walked. Unfortunately for her, Leigh was already distracted by the liquor.
"You can call me Leigh when addressing me," Leigh explained after the door was closed. "But to the other employees around here, I'm Mr. Morgan." He put ice into each glass. "What'll you have?" he asked him, pouring his own drink while he waited for Nemo to decide.
"No. I don't need a drink. I just want a drink. There's a clear line between the two." Nemo shook his head, raising a hand in dismissal, "I don't drink until it's sundown. I want to walk out of here looking proper. I have morals to uphold." Then in after thought, he chucked a sir to the end and snorted in amusement at what he had just said. "I'll just have some soda I suppose. Fizzle's good."
So once the soda arrived, Nemo fiddled with the glass in one hand, gingerly taking small intakes of it and enjoying the way it settled in his stomach. Not as great as liquor but this will have to do.
He wasn't too keen on letting the other man see his sh*tfaced self when the blond had too much to drink already. From what others had bore witness to, the man often flushed down the idea of morals and good conduct down the drain and engaged in behavior unbecoming of him when he was sober. It wasn't beneath Nemo to be encouraged to do criminal behavior under the influence of a good drink too many. Once he damage a stranger's car by smashing the windows and covers with a conveniently supplied metal baseball bat. Also, there had been too many mornings when the blond would wake to the pleasant warmth of a nude stranger or two in his bed.
Now that was settled, the man directed his attention to the topic at hand once more. Nemo pinched the bridge of his eyes and counted to three before releasing it.
"I already told you. I'm over it. I don't feel that way anymore nor do I want to regress to that point. I'm not entirely fond of the person I was then as you are," Actually if Nemo could, he would have strangled his younger self and given him a good beating. Those incidents of drunk black outs? He was just a f*cking teenager then.
He breathed in deep, taking a gulp of air then continued, "I was just asking. We were not particularly close back then and whatever I knew of you were the stuff of rumors and casual glances. How was I supposed to be in confidence to knowledge like that?"
Surely he made a point there. When his eyes laid upon the liquor swirling attractively in the brunet's glass, the blond forced his gaze elsewhere. He would not. Nope. Not today. Not ever. Nemo continued, "The only clear memory I truly have of you was when you told me you wanted me and what I did to you consequently. Now, I'm well aware it wasn't the most mature of ways to deal with a confession and I was running my own streak of stupid back then."
Of course he remembered. This was the stuff of his tear streaked confessions during the block's graduation retreat where they spent days in the wilderness to reflect, repent and mend their ways before they started a new life after college. They confessed to their long term guilts, pains and other hidden secrets while their religious guide and classmates listened on, whispering forgiveness and other forms of comfort. They forgave Nemo, they told him he was young and reckless so it was alright. It had been so long ago, surely Leigh had been over it and had moved on.
But somehow it had never felt right enough.
Coz Nemo never really knew for certain if the brunet was alive and definitely moving on with his life from the broken heart he caused.
"So there you have it. If it bothers you this much for me to ask then I'll make it a point to mind my business then. I can start now, sir," He perched the glass of soda on one of the provided coasters and continued, "I apologize for breaching your privacy. Rest assured, I won't make the mistake again."
"I know there's a difference," Leigh said, taking a sip of his own drink and leaning against the credenza. "That's why I'm offering." He smirked a little and shook his head. "Don't call me sir," he said with a snort. "I hate that. I told you, Leigh is fine when you're talking to me." He moved back over to his desk and sat down, setting his drink beside him.
No. They weren't close. Leigh was hardly even sure why he had liked Nemo so much. He was popular, and good-looking. He supposed that could have been the reason. Something about him attracted Leigh back then. He felt drawn to him, even admired him. Had things turned out differently, and he'd gotten the attention he craved from the man, he might have even joined the basket ball team or something. Anything to be close to Nemo. Instead, he had pulled as far away as he could, and in the end he left school altogether. Was it because of Nemo? Certainly not--but he'd had a part in it.
An even bigger part had been his personal situation. No one knew Leigh's big secret in high school--he was homeless. He had been homeless since he was 13. Before that he had lived halfway across the country with his mother and siblings. He still remembered the day his mother put him on the bus with a bag of clothes and an address and told him that he would be living with his aunt on the east coast. When he got off the bus, there was no aunt. There was no one.
"It doesn't bother me as much as it seems to bother you," Leigh pointed out as a reminder that he had been calm this entire time. His own voice startled him out of his trip down memory lane. "My life isn't terribly private either. I'm the subject of a mountain of rumors here, but they know that I'm a high school drop out. They don't know my last name used to be Taylor, and I'd rather keep it that way to prevent confusion and even more rumors." He took another sip of his drink and set it down, licking his lips.
"Start now if you like, you can spend the day reading through the paperwork I have for you." He nodded to the couch. "You can sit there and read through it so no one bothers you while you figure everything out. Or, you can sit at your desk and I can have one of the girls train you."
"I'm aware of that quite well...sir." The suffix was deliberate tacked at the end in an obvious effort to tickle at Leigh's temper. But somehow before the desired effect came to play, Nemo found it harder to hold back the laughter. They came off half-choked and strained as he trained himself to a calm, face split in a grin. He felt at ease. Much more than he had been in the calm of the evening out in the cliffs of the blond had no clue where they were with his peers and the nun who directed their reflections. There were no tears though. Just peace. Was this how forgiveness felt? Did this even count?
Nemo decided to shelf away his thoughts. Didn't matter he concluded, as long as they kept their relations strictly professional, then there would be no issues. After all, the brunet confirmed that he was no longer bothered about that particular shared memory. Very well, if Leigh had moved on then he should to.
Which meant the other held no feelings for him anymore.
His ego felt some injury at the thought but the blond felt mostly comforted by the thought. Romance at the work place were rarely easy. The prying eyes and gossiping coworkers were always around. Almost always, it made for complications that were difficult to repair. As if the first step into his job as a personal assistant was already awkward enough. Nemo actually wanted for this to work out. For once in his life, he truly wanted a job to keep and dedicate himself to. He didn't need the the remnants of unrequited high school love to catch up to him now. It was too late for that now. The idea of Leigh harboring something for him sent a cold chill down his spine and made him uncomfortable. It shouldn't.
...that's not what I meant, asshole.
Nemo's eyes rolled in discontent when the brunet invited him to get started when he said what he did. He actually meant that he was not going to pry and keep his---Oh whatever. He wasn't one to back down from a challenge. The blond nodded in response at the thought. "I can do that. It's past ten now, if you don't mind, I could have an early lunch so the girls can prepare whatever they have for me during that duration and I can spend the rest of the afternoon till until you decide it's dismissal then?" He gave Leigh a pointed gaze, already slipping into the job and asking for his approval.
"You're on your own schedule today," Leigh said, lifting a brow as he watched Nemo. "You'll get paid for today, but you don't officially start until tomorrow. Take your lunch, and you can leave when you're finished. I don't care if it's the end of the day or not." He took another sip of his drink and slid forward to put his legs under his desk. "Let me know when you get back from lunch. I'll get you set up."
He certainly had gotten over his school-boy crush on the other... though that didn't stop him from decidedly thinking he had grown even more handsome over the past decade. His crush was gone--but he had a new found attraction to the man. At least a physical one.
"And don't call me sir," he said again, this time a smirk pulling at his mouth as he opened up a folder with various ads and pictures of cars. He glanced up at Nemo, a surprisingly playful look in his eyes. The same look he often had as a teenager. So the old Leigh, apparently, wasn't entirely gone.
Somehow, he thought that hiring Nemo was going to end up being quite entertaining.
The instructions came as a surprise. That much freedom of choice? Nemo gave his boss a questioning glance and was met with a playful smirk on his mouth and realized that he was serious about it. Then again it was just for today anyway. It was his unofficial take of the proverbial waters so he supposed that's why Leigh wasn't so hard on him. He conceded with a dip of the head and a low hum from the back of his throat. Alright then. Early lunch first then time to wiggle his toes into the world of copywriting and secretarial work. Better get everything in order.
Besides, if he recalled it properly, Leigh mentioned 'girls'. He hoped they were single and good looking. That would be additional motivation to come to work and stay after the wee hours if necessary. A nice view was always most welcome.
But before he left... Nemo felt the need to do something before going.
The blond rose to his feet and instinctively tugged at his jacket and fixed the cuffs of his jackets. Then he extended his hand towards the brunet.
"To a new beginning? As friends this time," Nemo offered him a warm smile to compliment the friendly gesture of the handshake, "You may call me Nemo as well, Leigh. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. To a long and fruitful working relationship, boss?" He purposely drawled out the last word, putting an emphasis on it as he grinned widely now than holding back the amusement dancing on his features. The brunet did say not to call him sir. Boss was clearly not sir!
It seemed due that, at least to him, to make it official and put it to words like that.
Leigh laughed and shook his head. He reached out to shake Nemo's hand, smirking a bit. "f*ck you," he said simply to him, a smile in his voice. He pulled his hand back and waved it. "Go on, get out of here and do what you gotta do. Come back to my office when you're ready."
He held a hand up then. "Oh wait, here. Take this," he said, picking up the folder with Nemo's resume. "Give it to Meghan on your way out and tell her you start officially tomorrow." He lifted a brow slightly, then, and smirked. "Oh, and yes... she is single," he said knowingly, before he looked back down at the ads and photos on his desk.
Friends... This would certainly be interesting. He wondered if they could ever really become friends. How would that even work out? And would Nemo just get freaked out if they got too close and push him away? What if... what if his old feelings for the other man stirred back up again? He'd spent a long time hating Nemo after everything that happened, but somehow it didn't seem so far fetched.
The blond laughed as well, giving him a firm shake with much more energy than the first they shared. Looked like they were onto a good start of sorts, he thought. If Leigh's reaction was any indication of that. He had been purposely testing his temper with his teasing at their new arrangement and had not yet been backhanded or forced to the floor with punches yet. Nemo figured all was definitely well and good on this face of the planet even with the rather ecstastic 'f*ck you'. It could've gone decidedly worse really.
Upon receipt of his resume and tip in hand, Nemo arched an eyebrow in interest and smiled in return. So Leigh noticed. Somehow the thought made the blonde feel some level of shame. Had he been that too obviously bird watching? Inwardly frowning, the man decided he'd have to start wearing his reading glasses at work then. They were a rather discreet but smart looking way to sneak glimpses and enjoy the view. He tucked the folder housing his resume under the crook of his arm then declared emphatically. "My, that's quite a lead there. Interesting. And I think...I'm going to like it here. People clearly take care of their own around here. Thank you for letting me know then. Much appreciated"
As the man made his way to the door , he paused then asked in after thought.
"Was wondering, what's the dress code around here? I suppose it's somewhere along the lines of semi formal wear? ...Denim jeans good here, I pray. As much as I look good in a suit anytime of the week, I'd be damned if I had to report for work daily in these." He grumbled slightly at the thought before shrugging his shoulders and decided to leave already, "Alright, I'll take my leave now. Thanks for the soda. It was much appreciated. Maybe we can go out for drinks another time AFTER sun down some time. Go grabe a bite or two yourself, Leigh. You could use some."
With that he stepped out the personal assistant of Mr. Morgan and feeling much more at peace than he had in years.
Well, he was certainly... enthusiastic now. You'd think Leigh had just told him hat he won the lottery. He leaned back in his chair, smirking a little when the realization that he had noticed sank in. He shook his head a little and chuckled, toying quietly with his pen between his fingers.
Jeans? Ah... "Unfortunately, you'll be damned," he said with a smirk. "You don't have to wear a full suit every day, but slacks and a dress shirt are required. Keep a few ties in your desk drawer in case I have a surprise meeting. Fridays you can wear what you like, within appropriate limits." It was definitely a strange thing for Leigh himself to get used to--wearing a suit. When he started here, he'd had no money and couldn't even afford a suit so his boss (Mr. Holland, who luckily liked him a lot) had bought him a few to get him started.
He held a hand up and stood. "Here," he said, opening his top drawer and pulling out a stack of business cards. He rifled through them slowly until he found the one he needed, then walked over to Nemo, standing perhaps uncomfortably close as he held the card out to him. "This place is where I go for all my work clothes. Artie can fit a suit like no one I know, and the prices are reasonable. Tell him I sent you and he'll give you a sizable discount for your first purchase. I've been buying my suits there since I started here seven years ago. He'll take care of you."
So he had started working here when he was 18. That was a long time to spend at one place--but it was no wonder he had worked himself to the top here with that much time and dedication. He laughed a bit and slapped Nemo's shoulder after the comment about him needing something to eat, and turned back to his desk to get to work.
Damned he was. This was the problem of no-uniform work places. One had to suit up and dress accordingly. Suddenly Nemo missed how full his cabinets used to be with all the suits and all the other fancier men's clothing he used to own. It would've been good to have all of those right now. For reasons he was not quite sure, even his things were confiscated during the divorce. They were counted as his father's property and while he wanted to fight back, his mother simply relented and let the men have their way. He'd definitely had to consider checking out the men's department instead and fill up his cabinets appropriately. Maybe when Mom or Adrian weren't so busy, he could drag them both to the mall as the resident second opinion while fitting. Maybe.
The blond didn't seem to notice the distance and received the card with a degree of curiosity and surprise. Since they had both decided to put the past behind them and focus on the present, Nemo found no reason to suspect anything out of the blue when Leigh had closed in on him to offer the recommendation. At that distance, the vestiges of age were much more obvious. The man's boyish looks gave way to a more masculine, older handsome Nemo. If in his youth, he was brash and wild, now he was subdued and sharp. Seemed like he had gotten a piercing on his left ear too within the last ten years. Whether it was deliberate or simply a coincidence, there was something ironic than the man wore a soft, cool fragrance of sea water themed men's cologne. Even to the scent he wore, there was still some kind of reference to the sea.
He gave Leigh a quietly spoken thank you and looked over the card. "Very well then, I'll pay this Artie fellow of yours a visit before the week ends. Thank you for the reference." He slipped the card into one of his pockets. "First, leads for a good view and now a recommendation at my boss' dress shop of choice. Well I'll be damned if I don't make it well here. This place REALLY takes care of their own!" With that he was finally off and out of the brunet's office.
Nemo returned to Holland Mark after forty five minutes of lunch, which was mostly spent chatting, bickering and rolling of eyes with his mother while he ate like a bird. The blond's mother had called to check on her first born to inquire how the interview had went. He spared her of his outburst and awkward revelations, thinking it was none of her concern. She was more than thrilled to have heard that he made the cut and did not even wait for the man to ask if she was available to accompany him for a short trip to the department store. The woman actually insisted he do just and soon. Well, now he had a date then.
There were girls, much study for work and a tall cup of latte to be had that afternoon.
He checked his watch and found that it was almost noon. Did they observe clear hours of lunch and breaks here? Nemo supposed he'd find out eventually. Nonetheless, boss' orders to inform him once he had gotten back. So with that, he gave the wooden door a good three steady knocks before stepping in.
Leigh was on the phone when Nemo came in. He waved him in without looking up and nodded his head. "Thank you for calling, Miss Davis," he said, even as he was reading through an e-mail. "She mentioned she wasn't feeling well this morning. Yes, let her sleep. If she doesn't feel better when she wakes up I'll have Hillary come and get her. Yes, yes--I'll give her a note from me. Of course. Thank you again," Leigh said, hanging up the phone.
"Hey," he said with a nod, closing the e-mail he had been looking at and opening a drawer in his desk to pull out a binder. "Sorry a bout that. My house appears to have fallen victim to some sort of bug." He stood up and moved over to the couch. "Do you want anything? Coffee? I mean I know you just had lunch, but I like to ask."
Before poor Nemo could even answer, Leigh continued. "Oh, right. We have a small kitchenette here. Meghan will show you later. There's a Keurig in there and we keep a stock of coffee, tea and cocoa flavors. At lunch time we have someone come in with a lunch stand that has basic stuff... muffins, danishes, sandwiches, fruit... You get it. It's good for people who don't like to leave for lunch."
He plopped down on the couch and opened up the binder, waiting for Nemo to join him. "You'll figure it all out after a day or two. Standard hours are nine to five, everyone gets a full hour lunch break and you're free to take cigarette, bathroom, or phone calls breaks within reason. If you stay after five, you'll get overtime. Expect a lot of overtime soon, I'm bringing in a new account."
Well, he certainly got right down to business, didn't he?
In his hand was a tall cup of cafe latte that Nemo had bought before leaving the small cafe he chose to have lunch at. Boutique coffee. Bloody expensive but he suppose that despite his obvious poverty, there was nothing wrong with keeping a few luxuries in tow. In the days to come, he was certain that Leigh would come to notice his obvious fondness for coffee. Typically, the blond liked his coffee black but was open towards other varieties of the beverage just as much. Lattes were like his small charges of energy boosts throughout the day kind of drink. He wordlessly responded to Leigh's offer of coffee by pushing forward the cup, as if to emphasize to his boss 'Look, I have already have some', and sipping through the straw and nodded as he listened in, making mental notes of what the brunet had just said.
It delighted his heart to hear that they even had a Keurig in the house. He smiled in obvious glee that that the coffee brewing machine offered. Personally, the blond preferred brewing it himself and memorizing coffee, water, sugar, cream and milk proportions for a personalized touch each time. Though serving ready mades as they were would no doubt make his life easier. "We have a regular coffee machine as well I hope?," Nemo asked, putting aside his drink and taking his place beside Leigh on the couch. "I make fantastic coffee." He couldn't help but brag, smiling as he did. Now if they only had a microwave oven to go hand in hand with the coffee machine then the blond was more than set. Nemo was sure that the fine art of microwavable mug cuisine would come in handy during all nighters.
The man spent his afternoon being inducted into his new line of work, armed with a notepad and pen in hand, scribbling notes in utilizing both his normal, clean block print hand writing and some in abrupt and rushed shorthand. There were emotes drawn on some points, some frowning, some smiling or highlighted in exclamation points. He noted names, schedules, quirks and little things along the way. It had taken a long time for him to finally admit that he was bad with names. Thus when a new individual was introduced to him, a scrawl followed shortly with a job rank or some notable feature on their person. Somehow within those ten years, Nemo had taken up a crash course in stenography work, thinking that maybe somehow, someday he'd need the knowledge. It had been his intention to take it to medical school where no doubt, he would need to scrawl faster than lightning to catch his lecturer's discourses. He never made it.
New account. The blond smiled in defense of the fact he had no idea what that meant. Overtime, yes that was plain and simple English. He definitely needed to learn the copywriting jargon. The blond made a plan to do some reading when he got back home.
Tomorrow was a new day and his official start at the agency. Somehow, he had a feeling that he already had a plateful to conquer the moment he'd report for duty tomorrow.
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