The Luncheon

Suzaku watched Kallen from across the office. She pretended to not notice as she busied herself with this call and that email, until finally, there was nothing more she could hide behind. C.C. was away on a lunch appointment, and with both of them working at maximum efficiency, they had cleared out the long list of busy work that had been placed on their desk, and with nowhere left to hide, and an embittered Suzaku, she could do little to avoid his questioning.

“Why are you looking for a new job?”
“Who said I was-”
“I know you’re job-hunting, Kallen. If you’re going to hide something, make sure not to hide it on your desk while you run to the bathroom. What’s wrong? Finally fed up with C.C.?”
“None of your business,” she hissed. “And you’d better shut your mouth about this too, or else-”
“Or else what? What’re you going to do? What can you do as the senior PA? Make me go on a coffee run? Send me off on a little scavenger hunt for a scarf? What can you even make me do while you sit there and look for a new job behind C.C.’s-”
“You don’t know shit,” she snapped. Her face as red as her hair, she glared at him as she growled, “You don’t fucking know anything. If you knew, you wouldn’t be like this. You’d be doing the same exact thing if you were in my shoes.”
“Try me.”

She scowled at him before tightly crossing her arms across her chest. Seconds ticked by, and then minutes, before she finally made a decision.

“They’re going to fire C.C.”

It wasn’t even his job that was being threatened and yet he felt the ground swallow him up. Kallen raised a brow as he suddenly vanished. Leaning over her desk, she scrutinized him from where he lay sprawled on the ground.

“What the hell do you think you’re pulling? This is a professional work environment. Get the hell off your ass before someone sees you.”
“…They can’t fire C.C. This has been her whole life. Firing her will be just like shooting her.”
“Yeah, well, they can, and they’re going to. That’s what that lunch meeting is for. They’re going to butter her up real nice, squeeze out the rest of the plans for this month’s issue, and then let her go.”

When she saw his look of hurt, she rolled her eyes.

“It’s a cold world out there, Suzaku, and it’s even colder in here. You should know that by now.”
“You can’t fire someone without probable-”
“Bad publicity. It’s already affecting our sales. Do you know how much money we’ve lost over in the UK? Circulation’s been cut nearly in half in the first week alone. C.C.’s done for. She’s never going to work in this world ever again. Not even in a job like yours. So if I were you, I’d stand in the right line and get moving. I’ve got bills to pay, and so do you. Don’t get kicked to the streets just because you want to get into her pants. If you haven’t heard, she’s taken.”

There was no way… Kallen had to be bluffing. What would she know? And how could she be so callous about this? So what if it was a cold world? That was all the more reason to care. Clearly no one else did. No one else was thinking about anyone but themselves, seeing as how they were so easily and quickly letting her go at the slightest bit of bad news. How long had C.C. been working for this company? Since she had been 17, wasn’t it? First as a model, and then on the staff. She’d dedicated her life to this magazine, had slaved away and labored for 15 years, and for what? To be used – drained – one last time before being kicked under the rug?

How could they be so coldblooded? How could they be so cruel?

How could they be vicious?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sean O'Brien says:

    Suzaku really is getting quite belligerent about everything, though I suppose knowing why all this is happening with C.C. and Lelouch is just making him super pissed about everything. Still, he is kind of being an ass here even if you understand where he is coming from. Randomly staring at people at people angrily is rather rude and disconcerting. Snooping on someone’s desk about what they’re doing with their life is as well, though the impulse is understandable and if he just happened to see it out in the open then that’s not so bad.

    I can’t blame Kallen for responding the way she did since Suzaku is being extremely hostile to her over her own life. I can only imagine he’s been keeping a lot of his anger over the situation in and it’s just spilling out now. Did he really just fall to the ground because of that news? I suppose part of the difference in reactions is that Suzaku is a lot more innocent and naïve about all this in comparison to Kallen who comes across as more jaded and realistic on how this all works. Perhaps to the point of being a little callous, but ultimately I can’t fault her too much.

    Still, C.C. seems sharp enough to figure out what’s going on and start taking steps to deal with this though none of that is dealt with here. Kallen does seem to come across a bit cruel I guess, but she is likely largely correct about C.C. being done due to all the controversy. I do sort of thing she overemphasizes just how finished C.C. is. Seems to be underestimating her a bit though.

    That one line about Suzaku wanting to get with C.C. seems a step too far at first glance, but I guess I can see where one might get that idea with how he is taking all this. Seems a disservice to Suzaku really but perhaps it was a way of getting back at him for judging her so much.

    Those details on how she rose up to her position did cast an interesting light on C.C. I thought. It does make it seem much crueler then to be cast out like that given how much of her life has been invested in this place. But yeah, it sucks but that’s often how it tends to work. I at least seem to recall hearing how vicious that industry can be.

    Thank you 🙂


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