Chapter 1: Working Hard
It is a spring morning in Los Angeles when a man in his mid 20’s is on his way to work. He is cool and composed, as if he knows he isn’t going to be late for work, but why will he be? He is the manager of his work. He is the boss. Well, sort of.
His name is Sollux Captor and he works as a Computer and Information Systems Manager at a high-paying company. Getting to his position now wasn’t an easy task. He had to work hard and tolerate his work mates to get on top. He doesn’t really get along with his work mates when it comes to working together. He prefers ordering them around. It makes him feel superior. He's not really aiming for a job that’s too high like the boss’s job, at least not yet . He doesn’t really like deciding for his whole company, since he has a hard time deciding for himself sometimes because he tends to argue with himself.
"Good day, uh, sir." One of his employees timidly said, getting up on his feet and standing straight as if his attention was called without a sound.
”Did you finish the work I told you to do?” Sollux asked with a slight frown on his face, putting his weight to one side of his body and resting his arm on his employee’s table.
”Uh, yes, yes I did finish it! I have it right here!” his employee hands out a flash drive to him.
Sollux flips away the flash drive from his employee’s hand, “Nitram, I told you to put it in the hard drive I handed to you. Where is the hard drive I gave you???” He pinches his nose bridge after he places his suitcase on his employee’s table.
”I, uhh, my friend kinda lost it and--”
”You know what I don’t have the time for this, fine. I’ll just take your shitty flash drive, and get me a better hard drive. Get back to work.” Sollux takes the flash drive from his employee and grabs his own suitcase, then barging into his office.
'…Maybe he’s having a hard time again.’ He thinks to himself, 'Whatever, he still didn’t follow my basic instructions, and lost my hard drive, too!'
In his office, he sets up his laptop on his table and opens the file that he had asked his employee to work on “Everything seems okay, I guess, WAIT.” A glint shines from his dual-tinted glasses as he finds multiple flaws in the program his employee gave him, 'I'm going to have his salary lowered again, goddammit there are so many flaws in his processing! What the hell did this dumbass even do when I gave him the work??? Slack off???' He thought to himself, and then arguing with himself about the little self-flaws he makes as he re-did parts of the program he got. 'Maybe he really is just having a hard time, or maybe the one who typed this out in the first place is the one at fault? Or he just guessed this one out, what the hell. I don’t know, now's not the time to think about this.'
It is only after half an hour when he is able to finalize the lengthy program. Thank grist that he finished job immediately; the program he holds now is perfect compared to the program he had a while ago. He sighs in relief and does other processing before relaxing his back on the chair he bought for himself some time ago, the kind of chair that bosses usually sit on even though he’s just a manager. But what the hell, he likes his job nonetheless, since he’s able to order his workers around and he gets to relax more often on most work days. Then, when he is just about to take out a different file that he codes to pass time, he receives a call from his boss, suddenly shoving a lot of systems and program to process and program into his mail. Sollux grunts, and he lets out a loud sigh after his conversation call with his boss.
"I guess being manager isn't always okay"
He spends his week coding and programming yet again as he ponders about his employees, one of the major self-topics being the timid dumbass and the other being the ornery douche who’s only good at computers when it comes to permanently terminating systems and programs. He thinks about firing them but then he reconsiders and gives them another chance, except for the ornery guy. Maybe he’ll give him two more chances. He’s taken a liking to him somehow, even though he and the other guy are rivals, so to speak. No, maybe he'll fire him too.
Yes, he shall fire him as soon as his employees' next day offs come, he knows he's just wasting more time instead of saving time when he has a handful of employees to fire. He, himself, can actually do all the things that his employees can do combined in the same amount of time. Goddammit he really needs a new set of employees. He's really indecisive sometimes that he gives himeself a hard time dealing with work.
He enjoys doing his work but sometimes the pressure and the amount of work his boss shoves at him just gets him and gives him more stress than what his employees give him.
After a few more finalizing with his coding work one day, he soon feels tired and famished. He doesn’t notice how fast time passed by during his coding as he reached his hand out to the place where is coffee mug is supposed to be, but instead of the mug usually being there, it wasn’t. 'Oh, right, that whimsical, other guy broke it, jegus how many screw-ups do I need for this job!‘ He thought to himself ‘I'll have to fire that guy too. I’ll just take a stroll outside, to get coffee somewhere else I guess.'
He then decides to go out to take a break from work.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Take a Break
Sollux, after a few days of stressful work, decides to go out and take a break. He finds an intriguing café where he meets Aradia, he finds the café relaxing and he plans to visit there more often. Maybe he'll want to get to know Aradia more too.
Thanks to Kewin (hehe) for helping me fix the story! Uggu I love you bro thank you.
Sollux finds himself touring the streets around the building he works at; he never actually took the time to walk around the streets before. He thought that it was just a waste of time, but today is an exception; he needs coffee. On the streets, he sees shops of different variety ranging from souvenir shops that sell all kinds of trinkets and weird knick-knacks to food joints with bright colored decorations and shelves lined up full of tasty-looking treats. He decides to check out the food joints but he doesn’t really find the scent of the store pleasant. 'What the hell am I smelling here? Dammit, it’s like a mixture of everything in a waste hole.’ He thinks. He doesn’t really find the shops pleasing, until he stumbles across a peculiar looking coffee shop. The café has a classy looking door that’s painted in a dark shade of green that has an aged effect to its corners and groves; long windows with carved details on its frames beside the door that lets the afternoon sun shine in; and a white marbled pathway where he could walk on to enter the café. Sollux decides to check inside and finds the place being roomy and dual-floored. The furniture is all white and neatly polished. The walls and curtains have a vintage-like look in different shades of green, and the lights are hanging from the ceiling, but they’re turned off for now.
There aren’t a lot of people in the café. There were only a couple of students, and other businessmen doing their paper works while consuming their beverages. The scent of caffeine that wafts around the room made him feel pleasant. He walks to the counter to check what is on the menu; maybe he could afford a coffee or two. What did he just think of? Of course he can afford more than two drinks. He is a manager.
“Let’s see what’s on the menu…”
“Good day, sir.”
Sollux looks to the end of the counter to find a young woman with long black hair and red lips. She greets him and then introduces herself a bit before taking Sollux’s order.
Her name is Aradia Megido and she works as the waitress at the shop where Sollux currently is. She’s in her mid 20’s as well but it doesn’t show; she’s slender and has a fair complexion. ‘She’s probably part-Asian.’ Sollux thinks. Her other co-workers are quite peculiar, especially her boss who seems to always wear white formal clothes with accents of lime green. Sollux thinks that her boss has some sort of fetish with Asian girls, but he doesn’t want to ponder about that sort of topic anytime soon.
“What do you want to order?” Aradia said, putting out a small pad paper and a pen. Sollux takes a glance at the menu and orders a regular cup of coffee as well as honey bagels. He guesses it’s just for snack, and that’s all he’s going to order. Aradia wraps up his order and takes the paper to a small window. She then shows Sollux to his seat, a low, white velvet couch, actually, that has a matching short, white marble table that has a glass top.
Sollux waits for a few minutes, as he chats with a few individuals from his IM; it is only now that he gets to open his IM again, since he’s been busy for the past few weeks. He starts conversing with one of his close employees via IM.
-- twinArmageddons [TA] began pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG] at 17:15 --
TA: 2up KK.
CG: OH, HI SOLLUX. HOW’S IT GOING? I’M QUITE SURPRISED THAT YOU ACTUALLY MESSAGED ME AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED BETWEEN US.
TA: well the pa2t ii2 pa2t lettiing the pa2t bother work wiill be two trouble2ome dont you thiink?
CG: WELL, I SUPPOSE YOU’RE RIGHT, SCREW-UPS HAVE COME AND GONE. SO WHAT DID YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT?
TA: ju2t wanted two check on you and the termiinatiing work that ii have giiven you the other day.
TA: ii 2uppo2e the job ii gave you ii2 ea2y enough two do.
TA: whiich by the way ii have 2omethiing two tell you becau2e of your only abiiliity to do 2uch an ea2y ta2k.
TA: youre fiired KK.
-- twinArmageddons [TA] ceased pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG] at 17:20 --
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] began pestering twinArmageddons [TA] at 17:21 --
Sollux is quite relieved that he informed his employee about his firing, but then he regrets that he just did. He told him too soon and didn’t wait for his employee’s next day-off, but what was done is done. He thinks he’s better off with fewer noisy employees.
He signs off and Aradia fetches his food just in time. He is starting to get impatient and hungry. Aradia apologizes for the extended wait and begins to lay out some utensils on the table in front of Sollux. He says it’s okay since he kept himself a bit busy while waiting.
He begins consuming what he ordered as soon as Aradia leaves his table.
Aradia, before going back to her station, notices something peculiar with how Sollux dresses. Seriously, 3-D tinted glasses, then mustard yellow accented business attire? She thinks it’s a bit silly but kind of amusing, but little did she know that Sollux finds her peculiar and quite interesting as well. She makes a mental note of him just in case he comes back again, maybe when he visits the café again, she will try to talk to him, whenever that may be.
“Thank you for the meal."
It’s sunset and Sollux pays for his bill and leaves the café without taking his change, it’s quite generous of him to leave $10 for Aradia. It’s peculiar of him indeed. But what the hell, giving tips is okay once in a while.
“Thank you for your visit, sir, hoping for your return soon.” Aradia actually meant the words she just said. She somehow wants to get to know Sollux more.
Sollux finds the scent and aura of the café rather relaxing. He thinks about going back on the next day or whenever he’s free and stressed again. He scratches the back of his neck in denial that he rather found the waitress more intriguing, or rather, adorable, but he has work to focus on so he tries to take his mind off her. He then gets back to his building and then resumes his coding work.
He effortlessly fails to take his mind off her.
Chapter 3: Back to Work
Weeks after Sollux's visiting to the café, he decides to bring work with him, as well as his friendlier side. He does a favor for Aradia and then they talk about each other on the way.
Suddenly, I get confused about which Aradia personality I am using, oh no.
I'll do something about that on the later chapters.
Thanks to Kewin (again, I guess he'll be my beta-person for this fic) for fixing my fic! <3
It’s been weeks since Sollux last spent his time alone in his office during the afternoon. He’s been visiting the café where Aradia works at and he feels quite relaxed whenever he and she are there. Being there made him less irritable, less confused, and less angry. He felt okay, perhaps more than okay whenever he gets to visit the café and gets to talk to one of the Asian-dressed waitresses, namely Aradia Megido.
“Give me another cup, Aradia.” He casually orders.
Sollux and Aradia have been closer than the first time they met. They have been talking about their life at work, and how things seem so easy for them to handle their own work every day. Sollux disagreed about Aradia saying that his work is easier than hers. To be honest, he thinks his work is a lot more complicated, especially when it comes to handling the employees. He really doesn’t get why Aradia finds his job easy. He understands why it’s interesting because he, himself, finds his own job — his coding work and programming, interesting even until now.
From that time onward, they both realize and know that their jobs are hard in their own ways.
“Ah, shit. Another flaw, I’m going to have to check the whole thing again.” Why would Sollux make a mistake in his coding? Could it be his fault? Or something else? He’s starting to think about getting the boss’s job soon, since he finds some of the files his boss sends him different than the other perfectly coded programs he was given before. But then again he rethinks about his decisions and just shakes it off. ‘Maybe next time, I have coding work to do right now.’ And so Sollux continues doing his work while in the café.
-- twinArmageddons [TA] started informing andrewHuss [AH] --
TA: 2iir may ii iinform you that the recent fiile2 that you 2ent two me two work on have quiite a number of flaw2 on your logic.
TA: are you okay 2iir? iit2 unliike you two make 2o many flaw2.
Sollux receives no reply from his boss; it’s quite understandable that his boss is more busy than him. Maybe that’s the reason why his boss made those flaws on what he was given? He shrugs and denies himself that it’s highly unlikely so. Maybe someone else wrote it for his boss, probably his boss’s right-hand man, or woman.
‘What’s so hard about the work Sollux does, really?’ Aradia thinks to herself, as she serves other customers who are present in the café. ‘It’s not good to keep his boss sitting on the highest chair, really. Maybe he should be boss…’ She trails off; thinking that she might be wrong or she might be giving herself stress just by thinking about it, even though she’s generally okay with stress and whatnot. It gives her motivation to function properly. She finishes her serving duties and prepares to return to her flat after the sun sets. She notices that Sollux still hasn’t returned to his work place.
“Sir, it’s already past sunset, shouldn’t you be going?”
“Oh, no. I dismissed myself early; I have the permission to do so, in a way.” Sollux looks up to Aradia from his table. He cleans his glasses, closes his laptop, then gets up, and reaches his hand out to her.
“Maybe you want me to walk you home this time?” He asks.
“Oh, no! I wouldn’t want to be a bother, sir…”
“Please, just call me Sollux, I’ve been telling you to call me that since last Wednesday, Aradia.”
Aradia takes his hand with a smile. “Alright then.” She gets her purse and Sollux gets his things and coat, then on the streets of Los Angeles, they go.
The evening is getting a bit chilly. It’s only spring, after all. Aradia and Sollux are almost at Aradia’s flat. They don’t bother the weather though, since they have gloves on and are casually walking hand in hand.
“Is this okay with you?” Sollux asks, bringing their hands up to their point of view.
“Yes, it’s quite okay, Sollux. I don’t mind.” Aradia holds on to his hand tighter, blushing lightly, swinging it downwards then up again and repeatedly, as if they were two kids holding hands. Sollux hums and looks away, hiding the smile that is slapped on his face. Indeed, he is happy for a reason, and that reason is being with Aradia. He can’t actually pinpoint his feelings for her, but at least he knows that he is happy.
As well as Aradia, too.
“We’ve been together for quite a while now, Sollux.” Aradia starts “Not that I don’t trust you or anything, but do tell me more about yourself! I mean, you know, since I’ve been telling you more about myself than you do, I suppose now is the time to tell me more about yourself because you’re not sitting down and in front of your business laptop.” She continues, getting closer to Sollux as they walk as if she’s waiting for him to spill some kind of gossip.
Sollux grunts, appearing as if he’s not interested in talking about himself. But since it’s Aradia who he’s talking to, he reconsiders his being not interested, and begins to talk about himself.
He talks about himself in a formal manner, stating out his current life and job status and achievements. Then he gets carried away, as he thinks at the back of his mind about what answer Aradia is expecting. He gets a bit worried so he tries to tell more about himself up to the point that he’s starting to be repetitive and redundant.
“That’s… Quite interesting!” Aradia smiles, “informative and understandable, but you could try easing up a little?” They reach her flat. She looks for her keys in her purse as she climbs the four-stepped stairs. ‘She has a lot of things in there. How did the things she has in there even fit?’ Sollux thinks to himself, clearly trying to ignore what she just told him, because it hurts a little to have her notice his bad habit of being too informative and formal.
“Yeah, okay.” He takes a mental note to go easy on her next time, but knowing her within the past weeks, he supposes it’s okay if he continues just being himself.
And so he does.
Aradia gets to open her flat door, and turns to Sollux before entering.
“Thank you for the time, Sollux.”
“Not a problem, I kinda needed the exercise. Also, I felt like doing something for you today so…”
Just when Sollux is about to continue what he is supposed to say, his cheek flushes when one of them meets Aradia’s soft lips. His eyes widen and he loses the thought of what he was about to tell her.
“Have a good night, Sollux.”
Aradia enters her flat, and closes the door, blushing.