Alan Humphries sat at his desk, finishing up the days' paperwork. He ruffled his hair a bit with his hand, the stress of his job getting to him. For once, he was actually looking forward to the weekend-just some time to himself would be nice. He leaned back in his chair, shaking the hand he was writing with gently to loosen the muscles.

Without any warning, both of his wrists started to hurt excruciatingly. Alan grimaced and tried to massage them, but to no avail. The pain continued to get worse; it felt like his bones were breaking and his tendons snapping one by one. He sucked in a short breath, putting his head down on the table while holding his arms tightly to his chest. Alan scrunched his eyes shut and tried to concentrate on something else besides the sudden pain.

"Hey, Alan! Can I come in?" there was a knock and a voice at the door.

'I have to get a hold of myself...Come on, Alan...' he thought to himself as he sat up, the agony of the unknown hurting becoming worse as he began to move.

"You there, Alan?" the door opened slightly. A blond head came through the gap between the door and the frame.

"Eric-senpai..." Alan managed to say between short and silent gasps of breath.

"Ronald and I were wondering if you wanted to come out with us tonight-" he stepped into the room, worry flooding his face as soon as he got a closer look at his friend,"Alan, you're awfully pale. Are you alright?"

"I'm fine, Eric-senpai. Please don't worry about me," Alan said with a small, strained smile.

"You don't have to call me 'Eric-senpai', Alan," he tried to lighten the mood, "And you're not fine...William has been overworking you again, hasn't he? I'm going to throttle him before I leave-"

"No! No, Eric-senpai, it's nothing to do with overwork. William hasn't been overworking me. I'm just tired. I haven't been sleeping well lately," he stood.

Eric eyed Alan suspiciously, noticing the rigid way in which his friend was holding himself. His glasses were tilted, and he was holding his arms closely to his body.

"You go home. I'll take care of your paperwork," Eric offered.

"No, no. You said that you and Ronald were going out. Please don't ruin your Friday night on my behalf." Alan gave another small smile, but it soon turned into another grimace. He clenched his arms tighter to his body.

"Alan. You're not tired. Stressed maybe, but that's not it. Something's wrong. Please, tell me." Eric raised his brows in concern, taking a step closer to Alan's desk.

"Nothing's wrong! What's giving you that impression?" Alan smiled again, his brows lifted in pain and in concealment of whatever was happening to him.

"The way you just grimaced, and the way you're holding your arms so close to your body."

Eric slowly picked a pen off of Alan's desk, twirling it in his fingers before carefully tossing it towards Alan, but too far away for him to grab without stretching his hands out. Alan reached out instinctively, but the movement made him double over in distressed torture.

"I knew you were lying," Eric practically jumped over Alan's desk in order to comfort his associate. He moved Alan's chair closer to him, and eased him into it.

Alan gratefully took the chair, leaning his head against the back. Yet again, his eyes were scrunched and his lips formed a grimace. Little droplets of sweat beaded his forehead, running slowly down the sides of his face.

"What the hell is happening to you? Are you sick?" Eric whipped a handkerchief from his inside pocket and began dabbing Alan's forehead.

"I don't know, Eric-senpai. My wrists just hurt so, so much. I'm sure I just sprained them somehow. I'm just not used to pain, that's probably the reason why I'm pale..."

Eric nodded at what Alan was saying, unsure whether he was correct or if something else entirely was ailing him. He put the kerchief down on a pile of papers on the desk, and carefully rolled up Alan's sleeves. Eric looked at the pale wrists, searching for any sign of bruising. He lightly started pressing on the wrists, feeling for a sprain or a breakage. Alan took a deep breath as his fellow shinigami examined him.

The discomfort was slowly leaving Alan, and his breathing gradually returned to normal. Eric took notice and leaned back on the desk, grateful that Alan seemed to be recovering from...was it an attack of some sort?

"I don't care what you say in protest, I'm taking you home." Eric picked his handkerchief up, shoved it into his pocket, and helped Alan from the chair.

"You don't have to, Eric-senpai. I'm fine now. Thank you for your help." Alan bowed.

"Alan...cut it out with the 'Eric-senpai'! And I am bringing you home. I don't want anything to happen to you on the way there," he began blowing out the numerous candles that adorned the office.

"If you say so, senpai..." Alan smoothed down his chocolate-colored hair and straightened his glasses. He rolled down his sleeves and rubbed his hands over his suit, trying to remove the wrinkles as best he could.