Render me Scytheless

Chapter 7: Unbearably Warm

Rowan lied in bed the next morning, wide awake. Dark circles had formed under his eyes from barely getting any sleep the previous night. He was haunted by the memories that circled in his head. The sight of Grell being held bridal style in William's arms... The way he spoke with such gentleness and happiness... It was a serious wake-up call.

But then again... 'No matter whether I've tried to kiss others or not, you're the one to have my first real kiss. You know that? Rowan, it doesn't matter if there's an age difference between us. It doesn't even matter if you don't feel the same. That's beside the point. The point is... I'm having a growing desire to be with you. Every night... every waking moment... Even William, who used to cloud my every thought, is no longer in my head. It's all you.'

'You're special, Rowan.'

"What the hell was all of that for?" Rowan growled, rolling over and slamming a fist into his pillow. "Damn it all." He then froze, the image of Grell's sleeping face surfacing to his mind. The young reaper bit his lip, knowing that he couldn't deny that he was growing fond of the older male. Why did Grell have to be so sweet?

Suddenly, the ring of his telephone started, and Rowan sighed, reaching over to the night stand and picking it up. "Hello?" he answered.

"Rowan, it's William T. Spears."

"Hi, Will-senpai," Rowan greeted. He couldn't hold the grudge against William; after all, wasn't the older reaper also a victim? "Is there something you need?"

"Just a reason as to why you aren't here. You're over an hour late!"

"Oh... I'm sorry, Will-senpai, I...," Rowan trailed off. "I'm... not feeling well."

There was a sigh on the other end. "Listen, Sutcliff keeps bothering me, asking when you'll be here. Are you telling me that you won't be coming in today?"

"... Senpai... can I ask you a personal question?"

"What the hell for?"

Rowan flinched. "Ah... nevermind," he sighed. "I won't be coming into work, today; I'm sorry."

"Hn. Overtime again today," muttered the older reaper. "Well, then, I'm giving Sutcliff your house number. That guy refuses to work without you here."

"What? No, tell him to stay there with you," Rowan said, feeling sorry for the ravenette.

"Look, I know he's a lot to handle, but he's even more of a hinderance here at the moment."

With that, William hung up, and Rowan groaned, trying to sit up. Part of him wanted to run next door to Alicia's. Or across the road to Irwin's place. Anywhere but here, where Grell could find him. He didn't want to see the older - no, rather, he didn't want Grell to see how affected he was by finding out that he was being toyed with. He had been trying so hard to be indifferent to their 'relationship,' and to now realize that it was so important to him...


'Was that... the front door?' Rowan thought, his heart starting to race. 'Is it him? Is Grell-senpai already here?' Rowan hid under the blankets, childishly praying that Grell wouldn't see him. The hope was abandoned when the blankets were torn off of him, and he nervously glanced up, to be faced with someone who was certainly not Grell.

"Hiiiii Rowannnn~!" came the eternally annoying voice of Alicia Silvercave. "The higher-ups say you're sick! So we came to take care of you!"

"'We?'" Rowan repeated, a sense of dread clouding his senses. "Who else?"

"Suprise!" The young reaper jumped as Ronald's face popped up beside him. "Haha! Sorry if I scared ya," the older reaper laughed. "We don't have any reapings until this afternoon, so we decided to stop by and take care of you for a bit." Suddenly, the blond seemed to realize something, and he gave a wide grin. "Why's your hair going pink?"

"Huh? O-oh, Grell-senpai...," the moment he said the name, he felt tears starting to collect in his eyes, and he blinked a few times, trying to rid them. "Get out," he snapped eventually. "I don't need you two here to 'take care' of me." Ronald clicked his tongue in disapproval.

"Well that's not very nice," he pouted. "You're the first one to be mean to me on my birthday," he muttered, turning around and folding his arms behind his head. "Pity~."

"Yeah, Rowan~ You're a total jerk!" Alicia announced, throwing a quick and painful jab into the young male's stomach.

"Ugh...!" Rowan groaned. "Alicia!"

"Hey, now, don't fight, you two," Ronald laughed, covering his mouth as he tried to hide the fact that he found Rowan's pained expression hilarious. "It's cool."

"Hey, you two! Get out of here!" came a very recognizable voice that made Rowan forget all about the pain in his stomach. "Leave NOW!"

The two others left, and Rowan watched, his heart hammering in his chest as he saw the man before him. It was the first time he saw Grell dressed lightly, wearing a short sleeved shirt and pants that ended at his knees. He felt as though it was on purpose - that Grell was trying to tease him by showing off more skin than usual. It was infuriating. Once the front door confirmed that Ronald and Alicia had left, the red-haired male sat down on the bed, and reached over, gently touching Rowan's cheek with red-painted nails.

"You aren't sick, right, hun?" he murmured. "It's about me, right? You're trying to avoid me?"

Rowan defiantly looked away. "You lied," he muttered.

"I did not lie," Grell argued, turning the other's head and forcing him to look. "Will invited me out to an extremely early breakfast at eleven fifty last night. Ten minutes into the meal, we were all able to cheer 'Happy Birthday' for Ronald. If anyone else had come to pick me up, well, I probably would have overslept."

"But...," Rowan began, trying to think of something to defend his point. "But he carried you out, and... you were being so close with him. You said that I dominated your every thought."

"And you most certainly do," Grell sighed, wrapping his arms around the younger and hugging him tightly. "You said it yourself - I'm affectionate. To be honest, I can't hold myself back at all. I throw out hugs carelessly. But you're the only one I've kissed."

'The only one.'

To say it didn't affect him would be a huge lie. Naturally, Rowan was pleased - in fact, he felt rather complimented. Very rarely was he the 'only one' for anything. He was always 'one of,' as in one of the lower class reapers, one of the reapers with a push dagger death scythe, one of the guys with a temper, one of the reapers with a unique hair color, and so on and so forth.

Ronald Knox was the only one with a push mower death scythe, as well as the only one who thought of his glasses as lame, and the only one who had never worked overtime. William was the only one who had never laughed at one of Ronald's jokes, the only one amongst the reapers who had been on a trapeez, and the only one to have a cool-headed discussion with a demon. Alicia was the only female to be an active reaper, and Irwin was the only recruit who had been given a second - and third, and forth, and so on - chance at the final exam.

And Grell just seemed to be the exception to every rule. Above all, he was the only one who could call Rowan a woman and get away with it.

"Grell-senpai... that's...," Rowan began, but he couldn't bring himself to finish the sentence. Grell gave him a gentle expression - that look that Rowan was always thirsting to see.

"Rowan, darling," Grell whispered, leaning in. The younger almost prayed that those lips would land against his own, but as he reopened his eyes to see the other's throat, he felt the press of a soft kiss against his forehead. "Let's go out... on a date."

"... I'm tired," Rowan murmured, turning on his side. "Maybe another time."

The redhead smiled, and lied down on the bed, before pulling the blankets over the both of them. He turned on his side, and cuddled up close to the younger, draping an arm around his body. "Night, Rowan dear," he murmured. Even though he felt uncomfortable as Grell's breath rasped across his neck, he eased into the warmth of the larger body, and he closed his eyes.

'There you go again, Grell-senpai. You better not be lying to me...'



William groaned, snatching a tissue from a corner of his desk and rubbing his nose. Here was a reaper who never sneezed, and yet...

'I blame Sutcliff,' the ravenette thought bitterly. Today was simply not his day. The way it began with Grell skipping into his office and pestering him for information regarding Redbridge, then how he lost two reapers in his division and was forced to take their work or pass it to Alicia Silvercave - who was no where to be found - or Ronald Knox - who was also no where to be found. And as the impending work loomed over William's head, Irwin showed up in his office to apologize for yet another failure.

Tossing the tissue into the trash bin beneath his desk, William rubbed his sore forehead, and muttered, "What stopped you this time?"

"I... I got distracted... I'm sorry, sir... so sorry," Irwin apologized, bowing his head in shame. "Will-senpai... can I watch you do it?"

"Excuse me?" William questioned, twitching.

"Can I watch you reap?" Irwin asked, before flinching as the older's golden-green gaze sharpened. "I- I mean, of course, I probably don't deserve it, but... it's been a while since I've seen a full reaping. I want your help, Will-senpai... please...?" The older ravenette considered for a bit, looking at the messy-haired young recruit. Irwin was clearly nervous, his entire body quaking with fear.

"Very well," William sighed, before passing a stack of papers towards the younger. "But first, you're going to help me complete this paperwork." The younger's eyes lit up, and he nodded, giving a quiet, but still enthusiastic 'yes, sir!'

Later that day, William somehow managed to leave on time.

-End Chapter

Lol. William sneezing makes me smile for some reason...

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