Chapter Eight

What? How late has it gotten? There's no light in Undertaker's establishment, at least not much. What little there is has to surpass the black curtains hanging on the walls. William T. Spears slowly came to, shaking his head multiple times, feeling a cool draft of air. A window must be open.

Right, he was no longer in his apartment, he took Alice to see Undertaker. Alice! His head jolted up and he searched the room, realizing immediately he'd fallen asleep with his glasses on. Miraculously, he did not lose them during sleep, but anyway, he searched for Alice. Standing perhaps too quickly, Will pushed back the cloth covering the back room (was that his door), and he revealed the legendary reaper looking through a book. Alice was cleaning Will's death scythe.

"Alice," he said, without thinking. Undertaker looked up and Alice turned, a smile on her face.

"She'll be just fine," Undertaker said. "Good morning to you, Mr. Spears."

Will turned to Undertaker, extending his greeting and apologizing for imposing on him last night, but after an explanation, he felt like less of an imposition.

"It was lucky you did," Undertaker said. "She'd probably have died for real if you hadn't noticed she was unresponsive in sleep."

Alice smiled at Will, extending the death scythe to him. Spotless.

The two of them walked out of Undertaker's shop, together and with the cure for the hopefully not spreading disease among demon soul retrieval reapers. If he were lucky, perhaps a certain demon he knew would catch this. Then again, Grell would catch it, then most certainly this would happen again, so perhaps unlucky that he should get this disease. It can completely shut down a system permanently.

Alice and Will walked into the association with the cure, along with instructions on how much to take. After dropping it off into the assistant physician's office, Alice was about to punch in to begin her shift.

A hand slapped her away from the card. His green eyes narrowed and he adjusting his spectacles with his death scythe.

"I cannot let you do that."

Alice looked at him, almost ready to ask why, but then she realized William was not clocking in either. Instead, he beckoned her to walk with him. They were going to enjoy the night rather than waste it with a shift.

"I can make up overtime tomorrow," William said. "You shouldn't even be at work at all."

Alice looked down. "William, why are you doing this?"

"Alice," he began, clearing his throat. "I cannot concentrate. On anything. Nothing."

"Excuse me?"

"I cannot focus. Not until I know you are completely able to return to the office. I will not allow you to take a shift. I can name a few reapers who deserve the overtime. They will take your shifts."

"William, I assure you I'm completely-"

"Alice, don't," he said, sternly taking hold of her shoulder, making her face him. For a few moments, they stared into each other. Alice understood him, it was as if in that moment was his plea with her. She stopped talking.

"Alice," he said, breaking their gaze at each other. "Don't do that to me again."

"Do what?" she asked, but before she could ask for any detail, Will had already wrapped one arm around her. "Catch a disease? Sure, I'll try not to."

"I'm serious," he said. "That was by far the worst scare I've had in a long time. Worse than the final exam with Grell Sutcliff."

Her eyes remained half closed, but she found it in herself to hug him back.

"Did I ever tell you I love the smell of amber?" Alice asked, looking up at him.

"And did I ever tell you that I love you?"

It slipped.

"Wh-what?" Alice asked. Grell was right! William T. Spears was in fact capable of falling in love, and it appeared that he had. The only problem was that Alice didn't know how to process that. He adjusted his glasses; he wouldn't be repeating that. She too adjusted her glasses.

"Wait, does this mean you do not want me on soul collection?"

"Absolutely not. Without you, I'd have twice the overtime," Will replied. "That is most certainly not what I-"

"Then am I getting some kind of special treatment?" Alice asked, pretending to feel slightly hurt.

"No," Will replied. "It is your work, you're good at it. That has nothing to do with this. I keep my life separate."

"There's a shock," Alice said, putting her head down. This was going to be around the office for months, possibly all eternity, that the great William T. Spears had actually fallen in love with someone.