Eric had told himself several times before now that he had got to get rid of the skull. It was driving him nuts. The runes engraved on it were withering, becoming less prominent over time, it was old, yellowing, the bone was getting brittle.
And the bastard spirit inside was really starting to piss him off.
William was scribbling furiously in his notebook on the other side of the room, the little black one that he often had with him when he was outside of the skull. The pen made a scratch-scratching sound that echoed in the otherwise silent work room, which grated on Eric's nerves more and more as it continued on. The death god was constantly scribbling away at the book of souls he had. Eric had no idea what he was always scribbling away at. Runes or souls or spells or whatever he had in there, it was annoying, and Eric knew just that.
"When are you gonna cut that out?" Eric asked, breaking the scribble filled silence.
Much to Eric's chagrin, William didn't stop his scribbling, didn't even look up at Eric while he spoke. His voice was quiet, a monotone in contrast to Eric's unintentional boom. "When I'm pleased with my work." He responded shortly, flipping back a page in the book to check something.
"And what is it that you do?" Eric's eyebrow raised, passing the skull from hand to hand, listening to the little clap the bone made against his skin with every pass.
The reaper finally glanced up from the book, his brow pulling together when he noticed what Eric was doing. "Judging." He responded to the question, worry creasing his features. "Would you please be gentle with that, I would rather it not shatter."
"Oh, right." Eric stopped his passing, handing the skull over to his right hand and from there placing it on his desk which was cluttered with all sorts of beakers and books, papers and bowls of both powders and unfinished dinners alike. "My bad."
"Your bad indeed." William retorted, smacking the book shut and instead taking to writing runes in front of the wall that was least covered in shelves that were covered in spells. "If that skull were to break, if any of those runes were harmed, fading as they are, I would cease to be."
For a brief moment, Eric considered throwing the fragile skull against the wall, then thought better of it. "And where would I be without you here?" He asked, rolling his eyes mockingly at the Reaper.
"You'd be dead." William's response was short and to the point, reminding Eric of the nearly fatal encounter that he had years ago. William was right. Eric would be dead without the death god at his side. "And it seems as though you've got a visitor." William noted after a long silence, nodding to the door in the front room and ripping Eric out of his thoughts.
A faint knock, familiar yet muted from the walls that separated the front room from William's dwellings, sounded across the building, guiding Eric to the front door. He grinned at the familiar silhouette through the frosted glass before opening the door to reveal his... not so much friend but not anything like an enemy either. "Ronald!" He laughed, stepping aside to let the younger man into his home. "I was getting damn bored without something to do."
"Yeah, well, I don't have the prettiest case on my hands." The lieutenant glanced around as he stepped inside, making sure they were alone. "You're alone?" He asked either way, just wanting to make sure Eric didn't have someone with him, lover, friend, anyone he could get his hands on to talk to. "This is rather... gruesome."
"Am I ever alone?" Eric remarked sarcastically, closing the door behind Ronald. He made sure to glance over at William, who was curious as ever, pointedly, telling the reaper to get back in his damned skull where he very well belonged.
William sent him a halfhearted glare and returned to the office, back into his skull where he couldn't bee seen.
"So, Ronald," Eric started when they were both settled down onto the couch in his front room. "Whatcha got this time?"