Ronald hadn't slept for very long. He was currently sitting at the edge of William's desk, drawing on the paper that the raven had given him. William wasn't very talkative – in fact, he had barely said a word, instead slaving over the paperwork that was spread out before him.
Ronald smiled as he scribbled in red pen, trying to colour in the sun that he had drawn in the corner of the page. He was very content right now – he had never been able to draw before. He didn't know why, but his previous 'carers' had never let him have pencils or even paper.
Just when Ronald felt completely at peace, a loud sigh from William startled him. He looked up at the elder with a frown, afraid when Spears stood up suddenly.
"Come, Ronald," William said in a quiet tone. "We're going for a walk."
Ronald's frown grew larger but he did as told. He followed William out of the office and towards the small cluster of desks tucked away in a corner where Grell and his two friends were. Ronald followed a safe distance behind William, afraid when they stopped right behind the red-head without a word.
The brunet sniggered and the blond started laughing hysterically while Grell was oblivious to the presence behind him.
"Oi, turn around, will you?" The blond smirked. "You're in trouble again, Sutcliff."
"Shut up, Eric," Grell said, still facing away from William. "I never get into trouble off Will."
"Well, the look on his face right now says to me that he's going to skin you alive!" The blond – Eric, Ronald thought – laughed loudly again.
The brunet slapped Eric across the head. "Stop it."
William silently reached out and spun Grell's chair around so that they were facing. Ronald noticed that in the red-head's hands was a small bottle and a brush.
"Will you care to explain why you are painting your nails instead of working, Sutcliff?" William asked in a cold manner.
"But, Will…!" Grell whined. "It's so boring! A girl's got to look her best, so why not?"
"I've told you ample times about slacking off on the job, Sutcliff." William reached out and snatched the bottle from his lover's hands. "I will give you unpaid overtime. I want your work finished and on my desk before we leave the office or else you'll be staying here while I go home and sleep."
"Will, you're so cruel…" Grell pouted.
"Mr. Humphries, please keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't continue slacking off." William sighed and fixed his glasses. "And you, Slingby, get off Mr. Humphries's desk and get on with your own paperwork; Alan is far more capable than anyone else here – he doesn't need help."
With a whine, Eric slid off Alan's desk and returned to his own. Grell stuck his tongue out at the two. William ignored this and returned to his office.
Ronald followed behind warily. He didn't like the exchange of words between the four – it made him nervous. He hesitated before he closed the office door behind him and sat back down on the couch. He curled up and closed his eyes once again.
Things were silent except for the scratching of William's pen for the next few minutes – but that was before the office door was thrown open and a dark-haired man with an angry expression on his face stormed in. He slammed the door closed behind him and made sure to lock it.
Ronald flinched and whimpered, curling in on himself in an attempt to hide himself. William, however, stood up once again behind his desk with a frown on his face.
"Spears, Spears, Spears…" The man said slowly, a smirk crossing onto his face. "I would've thought that you'd have quit by now…"
"Of course I haven't, Crowley." William replied. "I don't take kindly to threats. You're breaking a restraining order. Get out of my office before I call security up here."
Ronald watched with wide eyes, not understanding what was going on.
"Why would I leave?" The man laughed. "I could've had this office – your position. I refuse to lose my job to a faggot."
"I'm sorry you feel that way, but I was more qualified for the position than you'd have ever been. Leave."
"Shut your fucking face, you cock-sucker!"
William slammed his hands down on his desk. "There is a child present! Watch your mouth!"
Tears ran down Ronald's cheeks at this. He let out a loud cry and started screaming, covering his ears.
"Ronald…" William tried to approach the boy but he stopped at the sound of a gun being cocked. He turned and looked back at the male named Crowley, only to find that a handgun was pointed at him.
"Don't move." Crowley snarled. "Take one step towards the brat and I'll shoot."
"Leave him out of this." William said in an even tone. "He's not involved in any of this. It's between you and me."
A large sneer crossed Crowley's face. He kept the gun pointed at William as he approached Ronald. Once he had gotten to the couch, he grabbed the blond-black hair and ripped the child from his seat.
Ronald screamed and thrashed, terrified out of his mind. He wasn't aware of the loud pounding on the office door or Grell's calls to William, but he did hear said raven telling the red-head to stay out.
"Don't you want to let them in?" Crowley sneered. "Let them see how bad a person you really are. Let them watch as you trade a boy's life for your own."
"I would never…" William growled. "Do what you want to me, but leave the others out of this."
With a laugh, Crowley tossed Ronald at the Spears. William caught the boy and held him tightly, shocked to feel said child clinging to him desperately.
"It's okay, Ronald…" William whispered, running a hand through the blond-black hair. "It's okay, I'm going to protect you. I won't let you get hurt."
"Oh, how sweet…" Crowley said in a mocking tone. "Telling him that when you're going to toss him away like trash in the end. You know what? I'll just put an end to both of your miserable existences. Once I've done that, I'll go and kill your fucked up sex toy. Faggots shouldn't be allowed to live in this world. They're disgusting and unnatural. Say goodbye."
Ronald's eyes widened when the gun came closer to them. He let out a horrified scream, but before he knew it, he had been thrown onto the ground, William on top of him. There were several loud deafening bangs and then something wet dripped down onto him.
Ronald looked up, horrified to see William's eyes glazed over in pain as blood dribbled out of his mouth. The Spears gave him a weak smile before he collapsed completely. Ronald screamed louder than he had ever screamed before. He was vaguely aware of the office door being knocked off its hinges and shouts sounded. There were a few more bangs, but Ronald didn't want to watch – he closed his eyes and cried loudly, trying to escape from reality.
Grell hadn't been this distraught in a long time. After finding that his lover had been shot multiple times and his friend injured in the scuffle, he had no memory of what had happened next. All he knew was that he was now sitting in the waiting room of the hospital with Eric, bawling his eyes out. An ambulance had been called which rushed William, Ronald and Alan away. While Alan had only minor injuries from the bullets, Ronald was being treated for shock.
Eric reached over and patted Grell's back. He hated seeing the red-head cry. "I'm sure he'll be fine…"
"N-no, you don't understand…" Grell whimpered. "I-I… I can't lose Will… You don't understand…!"
"Calm down." Eric stood up and started pacing. "Look, I'm just as upset as you are, okay?"
"No, you're not!" Grell snapped. "You've got no idea! Alan got hurt – but worst comes to worst and he'll get infections! Will might die, Eric! And Ronnie…! Ronnie might never trust us ever again now!"
"Settle, Sutcliff." Eric sat back down. "Okay, I know that our situations are different, alright? But if you're just going to sit here and cry, what use are you going to be to them? Calm down."
"What if I lose them…?" Grell whimpered as fresh tears rolled down his cheeks. "I don't want to be alone, Eric… I-I'm so scared of being alone…"
"You won't be alone," Eric reassured. "Trust me, I know this. William is strong, okay? I'm sure he'll be just fine."
Before anything else could be said, a doctor approached them.
"Grell Sutcliff?" The doctor asked as he arrived by said male's side. He frowned when Grell nodded. "I'm Doctor Jones. I'm afraid that I have some good news and some bad news."
Grell's eyes closed and a small whimper escaped his lips.
"The good news is that physically, Ronald is fine and his levels of shock have decreased. However, the bad news is that we've had to sedate him. He wouldn't let anyone near him and kept screaming and yelling."
A tear dripped down Grell's cheek. He nodded. "…Okay…"
"I'll bring him out to you."
Grell nodded again. It didn't take very long until he was holding a sleeping Ronald in his arms. He buried his face in the gold-black hair, trying not to cry.
"I think it'll be best for you to take him home now," the doctor said. "He's very distressed. A mental health check-up is advised, as well."
"I'm not leaving…" Grell whispered. "I'm not leaving Will…"
"Sutcliff, don't be stupid," Eric growled. "William is a grown man and Ronald isn't. You need to realise that right now, there's nothing that you can do for William, but Ronald needs you."
Grell tightened his hold on Ronald and nodded. He knew, deep down, that Eric was right. Without another word, he lifted the boy into his arms and started walking out of the hospital.
As Grell lay restless in his bed that night, petting Snowball, he was too distraught to even look up when small footsteps entered his bedroom. He stayed where he was when a small weight climbed up onto the bed, and once Ronald snuggled in against his chest and started crying, he ran a soothing hand through the blond-black hair.
Grell wanted to comfort Ronald badly, but he was badly distressed about William. He continued playing with the child's hair until Ronald had cried himself to sleep, and he then wrapped an arm around the boy, just glad to have someone there with him.