maybe my clock just started ticking

More on Oblivious!Gabriel Agreste

Nathalie, right? 

 “God Nathalie, your boss is so oblivious to his natural surroundings, you could dye your hair fire-engine red and he’d never notice.” Said Higher level guy. Maybe a senior designer. They’ve both been there a long time. 

 There’s a devious glint in the woman’s eye. “Care to make a bet on it?” 

 “I’ll call my stylist.”

 Nathalie comes to work with red hair two days later, only to discover that there’s an office-wide betting pool now, and the clock just started ticking. 

 She thought it was going to be a small joke. 

 The entire board of directors and senior designers all hand her checks, clips of cash, vintage sketchbooks valued in the millions, stock, as well as individually typed predictions for how long it would take for Gabriel to notice. 

 Nathalie leaves the office, and places everything in a safety deposit box, along with 20£ and a bet of her own. She bets that he’ll notice immediately, and she’s hoping for an early retirement. 

 It’s two years later. Nathalie forgot about the bet. So did most people, but they’re all rich bastards and forgot about all the stuff they bet, as well. 

 "Your hair is different. Very fashion-forward, Nathalie.” His voice is approving. It’s never approving. 

 She freezes in her tracks and stares at him. “Are you-are you just now noticing?” Nathalie asks him carefully, in complete disbelief.

He blanches. “When did you have it done?" 

 Because he knows he’s oblivious. He’s got enough self-awareness to figure himself out. 

 The date is scheduled on her tablet. She’s been keeping count since the bet started. "Two years ago, sir." 

 Gabriel is cool, slightly frustrated, but cool. "I must’ve been busy that day, my apologies." 

 There’s a company-wide meeting between the board of directors, Gabriel, and the senior designers. Nathalie retrieves the contents of the box, and doesn’t tell anyone what it’s about. 

 Nathalie is smirking as she takes the head seat, and stares down the entire room with satisfaction. The bet is over.

 "As you may or may not recall, two years ago, I dyed my hair red.” She glances over to Gabriel. None of them are getting fired, they’re all too valuable. “The bet is over. Monsieur Agreste noticed yesterday afternoon, bringing it to one year, eleven months, and sixteen days.”

Gabriel almost spits out his coffee. He clears his throat, and there are multiple employees chuckling. 

Nathalie frowned. “The winner has been selected, but considering that the pool is valued at over £20 million, I would like to offer you all then opportunity have your bets returned to you and call it off." 

Gabriel collects himself, and smirks. "If it’s a bet at my expense, I would be insulted if you all didn’t see it through to the end. The winner will receive what they have won.” Nathalie swallowed. 

He’s furious, but he’s taking it with a grain of salt. “Then that’s settled. Per the rules of the betting pool,” -she reads off a notarized sheet of paper- “‘If it is discovered that Gabriel Agreste was informed by an outside source of Nathalie’s hair, all contents of the pool will be retracted and returned to their original owners.’" 

She shoots her boss a pointed look. "Did anyone mention my hair to you?”

“No one informed me.” He replies indignantly and stands. “You are all morally reprehensible. Good day.”

 He walks out. 

 "Do you think we hurt his feelings?“

 "Monsieur Agreste? Feelings?” The senior designer from two years ago laughs, “Now there’s a betting pool we can start.”