Plaguing at His Heart

Grell was in a fret over this, over everything that was going on. As far as rumors went, Will was finally getting his week off, but he also heard that Will was dreadfully ill. He hadn't seen his manager for about a month, as he was trying to behave himself by finally collecting those truly troublesome souls.

The firm seemed different somehow as the sun rose, signaling the end of his shift. He stared out the window for a few moments, just listening to the rush of the shift changes, new reapers on the dayshifts for practice, the sound of the clicking typewriters. Everything had seemed as it had always been. The only difference was, when Grell peered through Will's office door, there was no reaper in Will's chair.

With his own shift over, what was there to do except sleep or mess around? Grell was better at the latter, but this time, Bassy didn't sound too intriguing. No, something was off. Something wasn't normal, and Grell was driving himself more insane the more he thought about it. A panic had been rushed over him since he'd heard the news about Will. Then again, he was probably the last reaper Will would want to see, especially after he'd finally gotten those days off he'd been yearning for since, well...forever.

"So fun, so much fun." Today was the same as any other. With the Earl out of town on duty, there wasn't much to bother this man today. No demons, no hounds, no maids nor butlers, just him and the great job he had.

"What a lovely corpse!" Undertaker exclaimed, staring at the body of a gentleman whose brain had been smashed in. Murder, obviously by the look of the skull's repair. Undertaker took the skull, reopened it slightly only to put yellow flowers in between the folds of repair. After stitching that back together, he repositioned the corpse and stared at it for a little while.

"Hmmm now let's see," he pondered to himself as he browsed his shelving. The body itself had already been prepared, all Undertaker had left to do was dress it and decorate. He followed his own instructions, but just as he was about to place the last flower onto the man's chest...


"You there!" Oh, that unmistakeable bloodstained red hair! "I need some information."

"Hi," Undertaker replied, waving his right hand, finishing his final preparation and closing the casket lid. "What do you want with me?"

"I already told you, information," Grell slammed the door dramatically behind him and locked it from the inside latch. "Don't worry, I'll only take a few minutes."

"Hasty are we?"

"I am." Grell sat down, waiting for Undertaker to do the same. His death scythe at his side, Grell stretched out and brushed through his hair with his fingers. Undertaker sat down peacefully with a cup of tea, which the red reaper politely refused.

"What do you know about William T. Spears as of late?" Grell asked.

"Spears?" Undertaker seemed slightly confused. "Who is this William T. Spears?"

Grell sighed with annoyance. "That gorgeous reaper who manages the English branch of the agency. He's a manager, and he's recently taken the week off. Some are even going so far to say he's dreadfully ill. You happen to know anything about that, bounder?"

"Oh, that William T. Spears," Undertaker pondered. "Yes, I did hear somethin' about that. If he's ill, he'll need all the time he can get."

"That's just it, how could he be ill? What could he possibly have?" Grell exclaimed, staring deeply at Undertaker as the bounder thought for a few moments.

"Well, there are a few ales that medicine cannot cure," Undertaker said. "It's probably nothing. He's always going on about something, never takes any time. My guess is he's stressed out and it's finally caught up to him."

"Will, stressed? Impossible, I haven't seen him in a month!" Grell refuted.

"Perhaps it's not you stressing him out."

Grell's eyes widened as though Undertaker had just provided him with a new perspective. A small gasp even escaped his lips.

"Really?" Grell was near speechless. "Then...what? Where could I find him?"

"No use looking for him," Undertaker said. "He probably doesn't want to be found."

"I need to know!" Grell stood, becoming more frustrated with the situation with each ticking minute. His fist hit the table in front of them and had just begun to shake.

Undertaker looked up at the red reaper with curiosity. Grell's eyes met with Undertaker's. They truly were beautiful, those bounder's eyes, however Grell would not allow himself to be distracted today. But still, what a seductive gaze!

"I can't shake the feeling that something is very wrong here," the reaper explained. "I've known Will for a very long time. We went to school together. Our final grades depended on each other. Why the hell would he just leave and not say anything if I wasn't the one causing him so much stress? Why wouldn't he say anything to me? I never heard he wasn't feeling well until the day I found out he'd left and wouldn't be back for a week. That was only yesterday!"

Undertaker silently watched, observing Grell's furry, frustration and aggravation. Deep down though, Undertaker noticed something else. Grell was worried. Noticing this type of concern nearly made the bounder crack under circumstances.

"Have you checked the library?" Undertaker suggested, but Grell wouldn't have that.

"I know you know something! Now tell me what it is," the red reaper was pressing until Undertaker felt himself trapped in his own shop. Grell backed him into a casket standing upright. His stare was gruesome enough to even make Undertaker twitch.

"Shhhh," Undertaker whispered. "You never heard it from me...ever." Grell stopped pursuing to listen to the legendary reaper, fists down, glasses pushed up, the whole deal. The red reaper displayed his most attentive manner with full sincerity.

"William's body is having difficulties. It's an infestation," Undertaker said. "That's all I'm going to say."

Grell was infuriated, not knowing what was wrong with Will. If Will couldn't be his manager anymore, he certainly wanted to why and how. As much as he tried, there was no more information from Undertaker, leaving Grell at his wits end.

"Please..." Grell was holding back every emotion at this point, reduced to beg before the bounder. Sweat dripped from his forehead off the flames of his hair, and as his fist quietly transformed into a desperate grasp to the table for life, Grell stared into the wood, thinking about nothing except where he might find William T. Spears.

Undertaker still would not budge, and instead he retreated to his back room, leaving the red reaper unsatisfied and humiliated.

Standing there, Grell's glasses fell from his face, hitting his chest, and his eyes took to the adjustment. However, he was not planning on going to sleep. No, he continued staring into that same table for another whole hour when Undertaker returned.

A frown formed along the lines of Undertaker's lips, finding that reaper in such a pathetic state, staring at his table. Well, he knew Grell wasn't actually meant to be staring at anything in particular, but rather he was thinking; the table just so happened to be the object of his iris's focus.

A crunching sound filled the room, but Grell did not look as Undertaker munched on a couple of doggy treats from a cauldron, resting upon the corner of a shelving stack. Assessing the situation further, Undertaker walked towards Grell, noticing how still he had truly become. From his sleeve, he produced a vile, a clear liquid resting within. Now it was a matter of getting the reaper's attention again.

"Take this to him."

Grell's head slowly reeled up to look at Undertaker, and after a deep swallow, he directed his attention upon the bottle.

"Wha-what is it?" he asked, adding a rather whimpering tone to his already higher than normal pitched voice.

"It's for William T. Spears of course," Undertaker replied. The reaper's body began to wake up from his standing position, resulting a few cracks of the back as Grell slowly reaffirmed his stance.

Silently, he took the bottle, examining it for a few moments, wondering if Undertaker could even be trusted. Anything could be in this vile, including William's ultimate demise. It could also contain his ultimate cure, the only problem was Grell didn't know which one was contained at the moment. That was the next topic he decided to haggle with on his own.

"It's meant to cure the infestation. I was supposed to bring it around a few hours ago, but the draft slipped my mind entirely," Undertaker informed him, officially snapping him of his thought process.

"What? You're telling me that you forgot to help William cure a deadly disease? How could you forget something like that!" Grell exclaimed.

"Ah ah," Undertaker put up his right index finger. "I forgot how to make the draft and procure the contaminate that's supposed to cure what he has. I haven't seen it in about 500 years, much less had to deal with it." He was smiling now, but Grell's mouth formed a gasp. He snatched the vile, demanding Will's location, which had been written down for him as soon as he requested the information, this time.

With that, the red reaper left nothing but a single trace of his existence within the shop. He'd run out so quickly, the one tear that he been swelling in one of his eyes had finally fallen onto the perfect wood of Undertaker's table. A small smirk graced Undertaker's face, but not in an amusing and madding way. He felt a sense of sorrow for the reaper cloaked in red. That kind of torture must be near to killing him inside. A reaper's tear signified a weakness to the utmost significance.

These were not fake or whiny tears, no, this was a sincere emotion. No matter how Grell spun the matter, William mattered most to him. As much as he may try to distract himself amongst the demons or even other reapers, there was never a desire of such protection.

"Could be worse," Undertaker told himself. "He could be attracted to a mortal."