He was going to be late. Yet somehow the thought had less and less real motivation to get him out of bed. The daily routine had been repetitive for so long, he barely needed time to think about it. Finally coaxing himself from bed, the cold air woke him up the rest of the way. Dressing in the usual black suit, he then combed out his hair, making sure he looked halfway presentable. He'd been feeling uneasy the past few days, unsure of why.
Nevertheless, the feeling that he couldn't shake couldn't hold him back from going to work, no matter how much about now he really wanted it to. It never took too long to get in, mostly a short five minute walk from his flat to the Dispatch. He could already tell something was amiss as soon as he walked in the front doors.
Reapers were hustling about, almost as if in a panic. Had there been a mass murder? Curious, he tried to stop a few people to ask what was going on, nobody giving him an answer. Even the secretaries were busy at work for once. Looking around, he tried to find somebody he knew would tell him what was going on. He needed to find William, Grell, Ronald, somebody. Passing through the people in the corridors, co-workers bumping his shoulders with no apologies for doing so. He wasn't used to the dispatch being so busy. Something big had to of happened to cause this much chaos.
"Humphries!" he heard come from across the room. He stopped in his tracks, looking around, standing to his tip toes to attempt to see over the people. Being as small as ever, most of the surrounding reapers were much taller than he. He couldn't see over their heads to know who was calling for him. The voice almost drowned in the murmuring of the other's around him. He pushed through a few bodies, trying to go in the direction he heard the call from, being grabbed abruptly by the shoulder and letting out a yelp as he turned quickly.
"You scared me, Sir..." Alan breathed, still in slight jumpiness of being grabbed, "What can I do for you?" he questioned in an instant. It wasn't often the Dispatch caught William outside of his office. Not because he just never came out, he was just usually piled with mass loads of papers that restricted him leisure time. Perks of being a Dispatch Supervisor. Alan swallowed hard as the dark reaper's stoic expression didn't change.
"We have something we need to discuss...," William trailed off, gesturing for Alan to walk with him in order to get away from the havoc. Alan nodded obediently, trailing behind the other as they walked, the halls becoming quieter as they went. Twirling his thumbs in front of him, Alan was getting anxious to know what they were to be speaking of, jumping slightly when William's voice boomed into the silence. "He's out."
Alan's heart sped up. He subconsciously knew exactly who the supervisor was speaking of. Why else would he want to speak to him about anybody being out of anywhere? It was mighty obvious who William was talking about just by the look on his face. The look of slight disgust, but moreso one of annoyance, as if the fallen reaper had been standing in front of him, classically taunting him. Alan had no words of what to say. It had only been one hundred and two years since he'd been put in there...Why would he be escaping? He knows he'd only get himself into more trouble. On a second thought, Alan knew he himself wouldn't quite like being trapped in such a facility, even for a moment.
He'd never hinted about escaping in his letters. He'd read through them carefully, each one he received. He'd just received one the other day from him. Not one word about plotting an escape. Was it spontaneous? It couldn't have been...by what he knew, those areas were in strongholds. There was no escape. Well, honestly there had to be one if Eric was able to worm his way out so easily as he had. The guards didn't notice him get out, so it had to be carefully crafted, something Eric was good at.
"How...how long has he been out?" Alan asked timidly, trying to contain his worry for Eric's well being openly at the moment.
"We're not sure. Some reports are saying three days, others say a week. However, I do not see how they could not realize he was missing," William replied in a voice that portrayed that he was deep in thought. He pushed his glasses up, "Honestly. However many days he has been out, the guards are unable to trace where he's going. His chip has been removed as well. He had a will to escape from them." The chips were specially implanted into the confined reapers. Placing them in the shoulder blades rather than in an arm. They were getting craftier at tearing them out of their skin while in the facility, and so placement needed to be changed. Eric's motives were unclear...He had to tear his skin open on one shoulder to get it out, the chip supposedly supposed to be unreachable to the solo party. He had to have some help to get it out.
It didn't make sense. Nothing seemed to add up, "Are you implying that we must catch him, Sir?" They had no idea where Eric was going, where he was, and he was going to be hard to catch. Catching him for crimes against the Dispatch was something they couldn't do without...a demon's help. They would never turn to such a thing now. No, this was their business.
"We won't need to catch him," William trailed off, stopping in his tracks. He had one arm full of paperwork, and Alan heard the Supervisor's fingers tapping on them anxiously. Alan didn't understand what the other meant. To catch a criminal, would mean...catching him, right? He shook his head and took a step forward to the other.
"Not have to catch him, Sir? What are you implying then?" he wanted answers, no more beating around the bush to get to the point. That was one thing that did make the smaller reaper angry. He wanted the point known, not every other detail but. Eric had done the exact same thing to him all those years ago..
"If we know Slingby as well as we think, there is only one place he can go. Alas, that one place is where he will most likely think he can be protected. Do you know where that one place is?" William questioned the other.
"A bar?" Alan suggested honestly. That earned a sigh from William as he pushed up his glasses, turning to stare the other reaper in the face. The humour from Alan didn't ease the situation.
"Home to you. I have a wild feeling he will go to you. You are the only one he will have any hope in. And when he does indeed show up, you will get ahold of me, and we will infiltrate to return him to confinement. He will be in there much longer." William warned gravely. Alan swallowed nervously once more. William was serious about this.
Deep down, Alan began to believe that the one place Eric would go was back home. But, wouldn't that be too obvious? Everyone would think to look for him there, Eric was not an idiot. Well, he was an idiot, but not that much of an idiot.
"We really are in need of your cooperation, Reaper Humphries. If we are going to keep our Dispatch name from being completely tarnished, we are depending on you if he happens to show up. Do I make myself quite clear?"
Alan nodded immediately, "Yes, Sir. I will do just that." He may have said it, but his morals and his feelings were always at constant war when it came to Eric. And now, the only man he'd put complete and utter trust in was on the loose, and he was to be the one to betray him.
William nodded firmly, making his exit away from the brown haired reaper, and Alan messed with his suit nervously, turning to make way to his own office. He began to put on a nervous sweat. Spears was asking much too much of him. How could he actually expect him to turn Eric in? Eric had been his best friend. He had always been there for him before...when he had his disease. Eric had saved him, and never left his side. No matter what. It seemed like bittersweet betrayal to the other. Eric had to still have trust in him, should he indeed break it?
In the middle of his endless controversy in his mind, he was stopped by yet another voice, yet the embodiment was pressed in front of him to capture his attention.
"Oi! I've called yer name five times, Senpai! Why ain't ya answerin' me?" Ronald leaned down a bit to lock green hues with green. Alan offered the other reaper a smile, trying to suggest that he hadn't been in distress for a moment.
"Just in thought. What do you need?" Alan asked, nervously pulling on his jacket, as if the heat had been turned up.
"Why do ya always think I need somethin'? I was just comin' tah see how ya were doin'." The two toned reaper mused to him, placing both hands on his hips with a trademark grin he always wore. Alan looked to the other with a small smile yet, going back to thinking. Ronald had been Eric's trusty sidekick, had he known about the break out? It seemed like everyone else did.
"Tell me," Alan whispered to him, "Are you in on the 'going-on?'"
"Ya mean the whole thing 'bout Eric?" Ronald asked bluntly. It wasn't as if it wasn't already the talk of the Dispatch anyway. Alan nodded to him, unsure of what to say next. Ronald spoke instead, "But it seems a bit sketchy tah me on how everyone's reactin'..." he trailed off a bit, "I ain't seen the guy in so long. I almost forget how he looks."
"William is convinced he'll come to me first," Alan stated to him immediately. The more it was said, the more convincing it sounded. Knowing Eric's own feelings towards Alan, why would he not come back to him? On the other hand, Eric had to know it would put Alan in danger to return.
Ronald opened his mouth to speak, and the morning shift bell rung and he huffed shaking his head, "We'll talk more later, Alan-senpai. I can't be late again or else I'm gettin' a big ol' pay cut. I'll see ya 'round!" he hollered, hurrying off, blonde and black hair bouncing slightly as he did so. He had better be on his way as well.
Scouting through the now-empty corridors, he made his way to his office finally. He closed his door behind him, being hit in the face with a steady breeze. He didn't remember leaving his windows open last night after he left...Marking it as just a strong wind current, he circled around to his desk, eyes growing wide at what was nestled upon it.
With trembling fingers, he picked up the envelope, which was not closed in the back as he took the folded up paper from it, reading over the words that were scratched onto the paper. The oh, so familiar handwriting almost haunting him as he realized the circumstance. He'd been so bold to get a way into Alan's office. The fool! He had come back. Alan was swept over with a spark of anger at the escaped reaper's stupidity. The breeze came through the window again, making him shiver uncontrollably.
Whether the eerie feeling in the air was genuine or just his own nervousness, Alan couldn't quite tell, yet something made him even more uneasy about the rest of the awaiting day.