"Oh how about this one here Eric? The shade of red is absolutely lovely and there is just enough cut on the chest to show a little bit of skin. Oh and look! The ruffles on the back are to die for are they not? That sash and a corset underneath would give any girl a perfect figure don't you think? Isn't fashion from Paris simply the best Eric? They have everything any lady would go head over heels for! They label this as a dinner dress but I bet with the right accessories that it could-"
"Sutcliff! No offen- actually yes- ta be offensive, I don't give a rat's arse about this stuff. I don't care if ye want ta run around in girl's clothes but could ye not talk to me about it? It looks fine, go ahead and waste yer money on this garbage- fine by me!" Eric growled, resting his elbows on his desk and cupping the sides of his face with his hands, rubbing his temples and letting out a large sigh of irritation. For the past thirty minutes, Grell has been standing in his office rambling away about the newest dresses that have become a major trend to ladies all over England and France alike. Shoved in his face more than once was a little booklet with advertisements of dress after dress with accessories and all the works. How women found that entertaining baffled Eric to no end. He could understand wanting to look nice but to go that far? To enjoy shopping simply because it was fun and pleasurable? They were clothes. As long as they covered you and fit the occasion that was all that was really needed. The Scottish reaper would scoff and laugh at groups of girls fawning over dresses in store windows or going through these catalogs as Grell was doing now. Why him? Couldn't he bother Spears about this nonsense?
"I bet my pretty little face that if Alan was to fawn over a beautiful dress you would buy it for him in a heartbeat and beg him to wear it!" Grell huffed. "Hm... I'm sure there's something in here that will suit him. He has such a delicate face you know? A thin figure, strong arms, and rather long legs for someone at his height. Oh something in here must compliment all those features of his..."
"'M sorry but Sutcliff? Could ye leave so I could, ye know- work? Why do ye always 'ave to brin' up Alan into conversation anyway? Do ye jus' use 'im as an excuse to continue chattin' with me and not get kicked out of me office?"
"Perhaps so or perhaps not. I would talk to him about these matters but he's always working! You on the other hand are usually taking a break when I find you or stumble in your office. Will's been locking his door lately and Ronald is so impossible to talk to on this subject! He has great taste but it's only for men!" the redhead continued to babble as he flipped through the pages of the booklet, pausing every so once in a while to look over a particular dress.
"And ye find me a better choice... 'ow exactly?"
"Because you have been with women with class and have picked up a sense of fashion for them over the years. I've yet to say thank you for all the times you've helped me. I know my colors but you certainly know how to put quite an outfit together. I see you on the streets sometimes, helping out ladies with their shopping; saying things like how a certain handbag would look much better with the dress they so desire or what dress color would compliment their person," he giggled, running a manicured finger over a featured dress in the catalog.
"Sin-since when do I do that?!" Eric shouted, his face flushing with embarrassment. "I don't know if ye've been stalkin' me or bein' a total-"
"Oh I found something Eric darling! This one is quite perfect for Alan don't you think? Brown and cream would suit him best, seeing how he is so pale that it wouldn't blend in too heavily with his skin- as long as you have the majority of the dress a light color with dark highlights it should suit him just fine. Now what I really like about this dress in particu-"
"Enough! Sutcli- Grell, I really appreciate ye tryin' ta make Alan look a pretty for me but I don't want 'im in a frilly dress lookin' like a girl. He's a man 'n there's nothin' I would change about it. Now if ye could kindly leave me be 'n do yer own work?" the older reaper spat, snatching the paper booklet from the redhead's extended hand. "Don't need ye distracted do we? 'M still a Supervisor 'n higher in rank than ye; 'm somewhat responsible for ye."
Grell gave out a huff, a pout forming on his lips, his eyebrows scrunching up ever so slightly, and his arms crossing over his chest. "Oh now you play the big Supervisor~ See if I care! I have hundreds of those in my desk from over the years!" with a quick turn of the heel, the feminine reaper made his way out of the office. "Oh, and I have shown Alan many of those advertisements and he says that some of those dresses are quite the catch. I think he might have a soft spot for them."
The remark was quick and to the point to where Grell had said what he needed and left before Eric had the chance to come back with a witty insult toward his coworker. The blonde reaper sighed in relief now that it was quiet in his office. Grell was nice and all but was a total nuisance when he wanted to be. "Bat shit crazy that one, thinkin' that 'm goin' ta get Alan a dress like that. Has he lost it? I wouldn't be all too surprised," he scoffed, leaning back in his chair and looking over the dress booklet. He had to admit, some of the clothes in here were very nice looking. For women of course.
Some were very classy with frills and ruffles dyed in a vibrant color that would stand out in a crowd. These dresses covered the most skin and came with gloves and long stockings. Elegant boots were advertised alongside these dresses as well as parasols if one were to wear these outside. Other dresses were simpler, for the spring or afternoon tea. They still looked elegant and beautiful despite paling in comparison to the more expensive, fuller dresses.
"Which one did he say would fit Alan? This one I think... yeah, cream and brown. Sunday afternoon treasure, oh jeez the names they give for outfits," he laughed, folding the book in half so his eyes only saw the featured gown. It was one of the simpler dresses, but Alan was sort of a simple man, Eric could see why Grell said this dress would perfectly suit the brunette reaper. The sleeves stopped around the elbow and ended in a bundle of lace, the same lace lined around the slightly cut collar with fake flowers resting in the middle of the cut. The whole dress was a dark cream with yellow flowers lined around the middle of the skirt of the dress. Brown ribbons tied around the waist and base of the skirt. It wasn't too frilly and poofy, the dress would fit well to Alan's frame and compliment his features fully. Eric's imagination began to wonder the longer he stared at the sketched out advertisement. Alan standing there in the park wearing the dress with delicate white shoes and matching gloves holding a light colored parasol above his head as he smiled and laughed, enjoying the sun and afternoon. Damn Sutcliff. Damn him to hell.
A knock on the door easily startled the blonde reaper, making him drop his feet to the floor under his desk and the booklet fell from his hand and landed on top of numerous sheets of paper covering his desk. "Jus' a sec!" he called out, shoving the booklet into one of the drawers, slamming in shut, and sitting calmly in his seat before giving the person on the other side of the door the okay to come inside.
The door was opened without hesitation and the form of Alan Humphries stepped inside, a slight smile on his face and a ledger in hand. "Afternoon Eric, I hope you ate lunch because we have a collection together in the next twenty minutes. As soon as we check out our death scythes we'll be ready to head out," the younger reaper explained briefly, walking across the office and setting the black ledger on top of the messy desk.
"No problem, give me a sec ta look this over 'n... no kiss?" Eric laughed, picking up the information and scanning through the overall assignment. It was fairly simple but it would requite at least two reapers to complete it without any problems. A couple of souls spread out in one, small area would be an easy target for a demon. They should be collected faster with multiple reapers.
"We're on the clock right now Eric, we don't have the time to get all romantic. You can have one later, it won't kill you to wait," Alan sighed, snatching the ledger from his senior's hand. "It's in the shopping district, a gas leakage and a lit candle. The store and the two next to it will suffer the most damage and have more deaths, we need to head there as soon as we can."
"What ever happened to pleasure before work eh?"
"Because the saying is work before pleasure," Alan corrected with a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. Oh how he loved to correct people. Laughing at Eric's very manly pout, the brunette leaned over the desk and gave a light peck to the other's lips. "Will that hold you over until after work?"
"Good, because that's all your getting," he smiled, standing up strait once more and turning around to leave. "We should really get going, I want to be there before the fire starts to burn. Walking in as he does will catch attention."
"Yeah, yeah I know how to do m'job sweetheart," Eric scoffed, standing up and stretching before walking to the petite reaper's side. "Wha' kind of shop is it anyway?"
"The one where the fire starts is a dress shop, quite the shame really," he responded, opening the door and closing it firmly behind him with his foot.
"What's that supposed ta mean? It's just a dress shop, there's 'undreds of 'em all over London."
"Well this one got a new shipment of dresses from France just this morning and recently put them up on display. Mr. Grell was completely looking forward to go there after work, we had plans. He was trying to show me the pamphlet for them but with all my paperwork I couldn't waste anytime doing that. In all honestly, I was looking forward to seeing them. This designer always comes out with magnificent gowns for every occasion and this was going to be his spring collection. Oh Mr. Grell is going to have his heart broken after he hears the news."
Eric stopped in his tracks, his mouth gaping open when the younger man began to ramble on about the dresses. He couldn't be... serious could he? His little Alan liking girly things like dresses? Sutcliff was telling the truth? What next? He supposed Alan actually wanted to buy one for his own pleasure and tease the hell out of Eric with it! He normally didn't care if Alan liked things that most men did not but this was teetering on the line of comfort for Eric. Sure he considered Alan to be a bit feminine with his body and face structure and a few of his hobbies but never as to go so far as to women's clothing. "I'm over reacting... he only said he liked 'ow they looked. He never said anything about wearin' 'em and prancin' around in 'em. Calm down Slingby... yer actin' like it's the end of the bloody world."
"Eric? Are you coming? Standing in the middle of the hallway won't get us there any faster," Alan's voice suddenly called out.
"Huh? Oh yeah sure, sorry- I was thinkin' about stuff," Eric quickly made an excuse and with a few long strides caught up with his companion. "It's nothin' to fret over. Let's just get to where we need to be headin.'"
With a slight nod, Alan began walking again and changed the topic of conversation to the new treats they started to serve in the cafeteria. Eric didn't pay much attention though as he stayed a few steps behind the brunette. His imagination running even more wild than before as he pictured Alan in the beautiful cream dress from the advertisement. He knew exactly what he was going to do when they arrived at the shop.