DISCLAIMER: The entire Detective Conan series belong to Gosho Aoyama. This is a non-profit fanwork.
Content Warning: implied mention of murder.
The Boss' office or Furniture continuity
Gin knocked the white door resolutely. A familiar voice anwsered 'Come in' at the other side. He glanced at Vodka and the two men walked into the room.
No matter the time as a member, no matter the rank, a trip to 'that person''s office was rarely a matter of joy for anyone – for the few 'lucky ones' (if the term could be used) that got to do so, that is. The leader of the organization was a most private person. Hearing their voice alone was an honor reserved to the members with the highest ranks. Roughly twenty people had ever walked into the office. Fewer had lived to tell the tale.
Gin and Vodka were two of them.
Gin stopped a few feet into the room, keeping a respectful distance from the large oak desk, and stood straight.
'You called us?'
His superior nodded. In the dim-lit room, what little could be seen of the leader's face was too shadowed to distinguish more than its general shape.
'This is a most delicate matter,' the superior informed in a calm voice. 'Something I need your help with… The help of both of you.'
Gin's eyebrows pushed against each other.
'Of course. What is it?'
'That person' kept silent. Gin heard Vodka's suit crinkle, probably as the man adjusted his tie.
After a while, the office chair turned towards them and their superior asked, 'Are you into interior design?'
'Interior design,' his superior repeated, standing up. 'Are you… skilled in that area, by any chance?'
'I'm afraid I'm not.'
The leader peeped at Vodka. The man shook his head. 'Neither am I.'
'You see,' their superior began, leaning against the desk, 'every time I walk into my office I look around and… it's always the same. And that's normal and fine and all of that, and know I was the one to decide on the decoration and distribution long ago, and I was happy with it for a really long time – and yet... Look around.' Gin and Vodka obeyed. 'Don't you think it could be much better? Take that piano, for example.' The leader pointed with a hand gesture towards one end of the office. 'Doesn't it look… dull? And the back half of the room, for that matter! Doesn't it look… I don't know, crowded, stuffed, with the cocktail cabinet and all? And my desk! Don't you think it would fit somewhere else better?'
Gin cleared his throat. 'If you'd let me…'
'Something I'd like to point out is that the room looks… well, rather dark. I understand it follows the aesthetics of our organization,' he added, guessing his superior's reaction. 'And that the darkness (the physical darkness, the absence of light) helps to mantain your privacy. But if I were to re-decorate this room, the first change I'd make would be to paint the walls of a lighter color. A lighter shade of black, maybe, or a dark gray – I'm not saying they have to be pure white.'
'And that's another thing,' Vodka spoke. 'The entrance door should be re-painted, too, or at least retouched – it isn't white any more as much as an ugly, yellowish color. Not that there's any need to keep it white, though.'
'It's for the contrast,' the leader explained. 'First with the corridor, where all is grayish, and then with the inside of the office, which is all black. It shocks people. It gets their attention.'
'Yeah, but…' Vodka protested. 'Don't get me wrong, the idea sounds great, but when taken to practice it doesn't work half as well. That white door right there among all that grayish… The first time I saw it, I thought I had found the broom closet.'
'Vodka's right,' Gin agreed. 'Couldn't you just hang a sign or something?'
'But what about the aesthetic!'
'Maybe it could be an ebony sign?' Vodka suggested. 'With the words carved in the wood?'
Their superior nodded. 'That sounds good… But all those things take lots of time. And lots of thinking, because they're rather permanent. Let's focus on what we can change the easiest – the distribution of the furniture.'
'I think the desk could go further back,' Vodka declared. 'It's too close to the door. The further away it is, the greater the impression of power and dominance and superiority and all of that.'
'And the cocktail cabinet could go to the back of the room, near the piano,' Gin advised.
'But that would break the harmony of the room,' claimed Vodka. 'What we need to do is to push the piano further to the side.'
'Or,' the leader joined them, 'we could push the piano to the side and the cabinet to the back, keeping it against the wall.'
'Or we could have each at one end of the back wall,' Gin gasped, getting excited. 'And the desk would go further to the back, too, but always keeping the same distance from each of the sides of the room so it's centered.'
'That way, we'd create some sort of tunnel effect!' Vodka concluded. 'Everything would seem far away, giving an idea of dominance, power and superiority…'
'Yes! That's the kind of thing I want for my office!'
'Should we get started?' Gin proposed, rolling up the sleeves of his black coat. The other two nodded. 'We can start with the piano.'
'By the way,' Vodka wondered out loud as the three approached the back of the room, 'why do you even have a piano?'
Their superior chuckled.
'Oh, it's a long story. You see…'
Something I say all the time and one of the principles around which my fanfiction revolves is that, with few exceptions, all of the fanfiction I have published on the Internet is set in stone – I can't contradict it or refute it in another fic. I like to be consistent. Today, while I worked on a fic in which the Boss' office appears, I've been looking for the descriptions of said office in my previous fics.
The Boss' office has appeared a handful of times in my fanfiction – mainly, in my fics in Spanish (as much as my eyes metaphorically bleed when I re-read them nowadays). They have always been relatively scarce and rather vague, even if in my mind I did have a clear image of the room and, most importantly, the distribution of the furniture. And as I contrasted the descriptions in two specific fics (Ruptura and El fin) I realized that the images I had in mind while writing each of them did not match. The difference wasn't huge – the only thing I couldn't match was the position of the cocktail cabinet. It didn't vary much, but it was enough to break the continuity of my mental image of the office. Jokingly and out of options, I told myself that maybe the Boss had changed the distribution of the furniture, that maybe the Boss had become fed up with what the office looked like.
And I liked the idea so much that I decided to turn it into a (crack)fic.
And here it is. I first wrote it in English, but then I realized that in order to get the metafictional, inside joke (the consistency of the descriptions of the Boss' office in my fanfiction) people would need to have read some fics of mine which are only in Spanish, so I translated this one into Spanish (see El despacho del Jefe o Continuidad decorativa, if you can read Spanish).
Because it is a crackfic, I don't consider the events described to have "actually" taken place in my fantimeline for Detective Conan. These "out-of-the-timeline" fics are of the few exceptions to the rule I mentioned earlier. But I like to think that, at some point of my fantimeline, the Boss did get fed up with what the office looked like and changed the distribution of the furniture… including the cocktail cabinet…
Thank you very much for reading this fic. Don't hesitate to send me your reviews telling me what you think of it! I'd be very glad to know your opinion.
Lots of love and see you next time!