Warren Worthingtons office;
Worthington Industries, NY
Worthington Industries, NY
The city of New York bustled with movement and vigour far below; from the rush hour traffic, the cramped sidewalks with thousands of pedestrians who bumped into one another, to the passage above as a number of aircraft passed through the airways overhead, all heard but not noticed - at least not by the majority. In some ways the city beneath Warrens office window was like a wind draft in his eyes. There remained the main flow of both man and automobile, yet smaller currents made of living beings branched off from the larger stream. All in all, it gave the CEO a sense of nostalgia, reminding him of his need to get out and escape the cage his office had become; and while the working space was considerably large, by anyones standards, it still paled in comparison to the sheer wonderment of the open skies for Warren, and he couldnt shake the feeling of being cooped up.
With a sigh, Warren turned away from the outsized window overlooking the city. He had a series of meetings to prepare for, as well as a stack of business reports that needed checking, processing and filing for the upcoming start of the new financial year. Sometimes being the CEO could become such a chore, but Warren had (unfortunately) become used to the long hours, constant overtime and the consequent lose of social interaction; sadly he knew his friendships had suffered in recent months, especially those with Jean, Hank and Scott, yet he had had no choice but to work and focus on his Company.
Which reminds me, Warren thought as he sat down behind his desk, easing into the comfortable leather chair while paying special mind toward sitting on his wings. I need to call Jean and see how her trip went. Its been too long since I saw her last, and I still feel bad about cancelling the dinner we had planned before she and Scott went away.
Clearing his throat, Warren (somewhat reluctantly) began scrolling through the amassed file checklist on his computer; thankfully his secretary, Annie, had taken the liberty of organizing the folders beside the computer in order of importance, while creating a Word Document that noted each, to which Warren could tick them off as he finalized them in turn.
Forty-seven files, total, Warren mused, calculating the hours required to check each adequately, yet finding no comfort in his estimates. Id best get started. He decided as he reached for the first folder beside him, before he had the chance to put the work off for the day. According to Annies notation, the folder would be dealing with the financial requirements concerning the Mutant shelter in Brooklyn. From information gathered, it seemed that a large number of Mutants were forced to life in low-income areas, where the cost of basic living necessities were attainable for the lower-class citizen. The focus on ethical practises remained a large part of Worthington Industries success, and Warren felt that the current Mutant state of affairs called for as much support and benefit being available to those in need as possible; and if Warren could have his way, he would spend as much as needed to get shelters set up, in as many locations as possible, to ensure the most amount of aide could be used. Lately, on a variety of different Board Committees, Warren had been working toward discovering ways for more funding to be supplied to the Mutant-Aid effort (more funding not solely supplied by Worthington Industries, that was); and through a series of stages involving fundraising, business cooperation and unified moral agreement, he knew his wish could be well on its way to coming true.
New York to begin with, Warren thought, a taunt (yet confident) smile crossing his face. Then well expand over the States, and then hopefully that will motivate others into following our example on a global scale. And feeling good, following the personal confidence boost, Warren set about the reports he needed to check.
It would be a long night.
Later That Evening
Warren? Came a voice from the doorway to Warrens office, a soft knock proceeding it.
Blinking, Warren looked up. Yes, Annie. How can I help you? He said, his gaze falling on the young woman peering through the opening (his secretary, actually, but she was free to address Warren as Warren when off-hours). And arent you supposed to be at home by now? Im quite sure your hours finished at least two ago. He chuckled, raising an eyebrow.
Oh, good, you are in. Annie smiled, stepping through the doorway. In one hand she held a plastic bag firmly, the undeniable smell of freshly cooked Chinese wafting in with her entrance, while in the other she held two bottles of chilled water. And yes. I should be at home, enjoying my day off but you should be doing that as well.
Grinning, Warren looked back down to his work. Finishing the final notes that were required, he closed the eighteenth folder out of the grand number to his right, and placed it neatly to his left on the (painfully still-quite-small) completed pile. By this time Annie had crossed the length of his office, having placed the Chinese on the guest side of the mahogany-made desk. She started unpacking the four small boxes within the bag, a stray glance falling over the folders, before she set the containers down for easy reach.
I had the feeling youd still be in, Annie said, breaking the silence as Warren scanned over the topic notes of interest clipped to the next folder in his hands. And I had the feeling that you wouldnt have eaten, because you do tend to forget about that small required part of living when youre busy. So I thought Id get something for us both while I was in the neighbourhood.
Youre a lifesaver, Ms. Saunders, Warren said, looking over at Annie with another smile. where would I be without you?
Probably lying dead in your office, having succumbed to starvation following a whole lot of overtime, She smirked, shrugging as she popped open the rice lid. I grabbed you some grilled fish, with a dash of lemon, to go with the rice.
Warren hummed appreciatively, pushing his chair away from his workspace. That sounds exquisite. He said, standing and rounding the edge of his desk, before he pulled out the second guest chair beside Annie and sat down. Good enough, in fact, to draw me straight from the business reports.
Reaching for his pair of chopsticks, Warren poked at the rice Annie placed in front of him, separating the chunks that had developed while in transport. After a moment he reached for the fish, opening the lid close to his face as he gave a short sniff of the wonderfully intoxicating aroma Warrens mouth was all but watering, and his body suddenly remembered how hungry it actually was.
So. I see youre slowly getting through that mass of paper, Annie said around a morsel of sweet and sour pork, the back of her hand covering her mouth. you could probably take the night off, Warren, and get that finished in the morning.
Warren nodded, finishing a delicious bite of fish with rice. Probably. However I dont want to have to come in tomorrow and start all over again; I would rather get it out of the way tonight, and abuse my position by coming in late, following a long sleep in. He winked, chuckling, as he dove in for more of his food.
Ah, indeed. Annie smiled, taking another bite of pork. Should I prepare an automated sorry, Mr. Worthingtons not here right now message for the office phone line?
No, no. Warren laughed, shaking his head. You wont be here, either; you can start tomorrow at around ten no earlier. He said, twisting the cap from his bottle of water, before taking a mouthful.
Oh, wonderful, Annie smiled, doing likewise with her own water. I get less hours because of my workaholic boss need to work until he cant keep his eyes open. But she knew that Warren would pay her for the effort of bringing him dinner, as well as starting her payday from the usual eight AM start tomorrow. He was good to her, and all of his employees, being very understanding and fair ever since hiring her, and that was why she didnt mind coming in during the late hours to ensure Warren was fed.
How was your day? Warren asked, looking to Annie as he took another portion of fish. And thank you for the notations; it helped a lot, however I dont think you should take time from your day off to do that. Its your weekend, after all, meant for you.
I dont mind, Annie said, looking down at her food. My day was good. I did some shopping, nothing too fancy or interesting, but I enjoyed it. Its a killer out there, though, because its so busy with just about every person in New York rushing to shop before the new work week starts.
No doubt, Warren nodded, finishing the last bit of fish from his container. I gave up doing personal shopping a long time ago, Im afraid. Like you, I couldnt handle the crowds, and these days the time in line for the registers is almost ridiculous.
Ah, the disadvantages of hired personal shoppers for being a top level CEO, hm? Annie joked, her elbow nudging Warrens own.
I would gladly, and I mean gladly, swap my job for yours, any day of the week. Warren countered, grinning.
No. I dont think Id want that. Annie laughed. Not at all.
A short while later, both had finished their meals, and Annie had gathered the leftovers for disposal. She stood at the edge of the desk, watching as Warren resumed his work.
Well, I better get going, She said, smiling down at her boss. Its late, I have a long ride on the subway, and Im sure the puppy at home wants his food as well. You have a good night, Warren.
Goodnight, Annie. Warren said, giving her a quick smile as he looked up from his computer, before looking back down. Pausing, Warren frowned and glanced up again. Youre taking the subway? At this time of night?
Annie turned back to look at him, nodding. Getting a cab would be impossible, and I dont live far from a station stop so yes.
One second. Warren said, holding up his hand as he reached for his office phone. Pushing a speed-dial, he waited for about three seconds, before a voice answered crisply.
<<Yes, Mr. Worthington?>>
Franklin, I would like for a car to be sent to the main office building. He said, looking back to Annie. Ms. Saunders is in need of a ride home.
<<Yes, sir. Ill have one there within ten minutes.>>
Thank you, Franklin. Warren said, clearing his throat, as he ignored the protests from Annie. And I wont be needing anything else tonight, so youre free to finish for the night.
<<Yes, sir; you have a good night, Mr. Worthington.>>
Likewise. Goodnight. Putting the phone receiver down, Warren stood. Would you like some company until the car arrives? He asked Annie, but she waved at him dismissively.
No, its alright. She said, adjusting her purse on her forearm. You should keep going with all that, and Ill just talk to Peter at the guard station until it arrives. Thank you, Warren.
Warren smiled, sitting once more. Youre welcome, and thank you for the dinner. And resuming typing, Warren knew Annie was leaving the room. Have a good night, see you tomorrow. Pausing, Warren looked up quickly. Oh, and could you let Peter know that Ill be organizing a ride home, probably helicopter, so he wont see me leave.
Annie left with a nod and wave, closing the door in her wake.
Settling back into his chair, Warrens scowl returned as he tried to get back into the rhythm of work. Annie meant good, and he was very thankful for the effort made, but Warren found that when disturbed during these hours, it was very hard to get back on track; not to mention the thought of finishing the remainder of the folders in the morning was very tempting
Ah, what the heck, Warren thought, pushing away from his desk, standing. Reaching into his lower desk drawer, Warren retrieved a small bag with a single strap for holding and placed it on the desktop. Hands moved over his shirt buttons, and he soon had his suit shirt folded and placed in the bag. With a practised ease, Warren unclasped the clips on his leather harness, pulling the simply designed item from around himself; he placed that, also, in the bag with his shirt.
Standing in the office, with only his lower clothing remaining, Warren couldnt help but let out a sigh of relief as he stretched his wings. They rose on the joints of his upper back, the feathery ends sliding from the confines of his back pant legs; consequently Warren caught the top of his pants before they had the chance to fall, due to his belt suddenly not being taunt enough. Adjusting the leather belt, he pulled it in by four notches, before fastening it once again. Letting his hands fall away from himself, Warren took in a deep breath, rolling his neck as his wings spread.
Pure bliss; there was nothing like stretching his limbs after a long day at the office.
Warren walked to the window of his office, rotating his wings on the shoulder muscles as he tried to work out the stiffness he felt. It didnt take very long, and by the time he had unlatched and opened the window, he was more than ready for his night flight. Grasping the window frame on either side, Warren pulled his wings close to his body and leapt forward into the night chill. For a moment he was freefalling, the wind rushing over him, and Warren relished the sense of liberation he felt. Then with a powerful flex of his shoulders his wings spread, and caught the air with a single beat, causing his descent to cease. Levelling out, Warren began to soar, his wings taking him up the air currents, every feather base feeling the wind rushing along their length. With a smile, Warren began to leave his office coop far behind
Warrens office, moments later
Warren? Annies voice sounded again proceeded by a knock. She peered inside, raising an eyebrow. Warren, are you here? I have something I forgot to give you from dinner
For a moment Annie stared at the empty office, simply trying to determine when, exactly, Warren had passed her in the long hallway that had no other doors attached save for his office and the elevator. None-the-less this was not an uncommon occurrence for the young woman, and following a flutter of wind across the paperwork on Warrens desk, her gaze shifted to the open window.
Hes out, then.
Walking to the window, Annie pulled it closed. She didnt know how to explain this event when it happened, she had her suspicions however, but she also knew that Warren had his secrets and this was simply one of them; one that she would keep, as well, no matter what.
With a cluck of the tongue, Annie walked to Warrens desk and rearranged the windblown papers accordingly. As she made to leave, she pulled a plastic wrapped fortune cookie from her jacket pocket; and pausing for a moment, she decided not to waste it, and undone the packaging. Cracking the shell, Annie looked inside for the small paper message. Fingertips fishing around inside, she found what she was after and promptly unfolded it to read:
Fortune says: Getting out will do you a world of good.
Annie laughed, scrunching the message up, before she threw it in Warrens wastebasket and starting nibbling on the sweet cookie exterior. Walking toward the door out of the office, Annie flicked the lights off, before pulling it closed it behind her, locking it.
I have the feeling he wont be back tonight