Chapter 6

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With the sun in his eyes Eric woke up and rolled over in bed. He was off today; he didn't want to be awoken this way. At least it was better than the alarm. Getting himself to the shower, he let the water help wake him up before becoming dressed for the day and allowing food in his system. Once he was good to go he headed to the one place he didn't like to be on his day off, the Dispatch, but he really wanted to make sure Alan was doing better. Yesterday's attack had been a nasty one and left him pretty weak, not that he saw the other attacks he had dealt with but this one seemed pretty bad. Heading down the hall to the infirmary he got halfway when he stopped, seeing Alan walking out of the room. Alan stopped as well seeing Eric coming down the hall.
"Alan. You're up."
"I am, yes. What are you doing here? Aren't you usually off weekends?"
Meeting in the middle Eric let his eyes look over the younger one, he seemed better then he was last night when he left him. His face held color once more, his eyes didn't seem as dark either, yesterday he could tell exhaustion was running through Alan's body, today he looked well rested, as if the thorns weren't affecting him.
"I wanted to see how you were doing this morning. You still looked pretty out of it last night when I left you."
"Oh. Well, I am doing much better. Just so you don't have to worry; I am usually back on my feet after a few hours of rest."
"Oh, that's good to know. Though I figure you still shouldn't push yourself too hard right now."
"I'll be alright; I have to finish up some work from yesterday. Nothing taxing for me though."
"Here, why don't I lend you a hand? If you would like, you're more than welcome to come to my place."
"That really isn't necessary Eric, I can handle it on my own."
"It's not really a problem and I know how much work you have to do," thinking about it he still had a ton to do from yesterday as well.
"I really don't want to be an intrusion to you and your time off."
"I'm telling you its fine Alan." Putting his arm around his shoulders he walked them back to the offices so they could gather their things before heading out.

Arriving to his house Eric let them in, let Alan take his jacket off, before they did anything else.
"Make yourself at home Alan."
"Your place is nice."
"Thanks." Seeing Alan looking around he put his work on the table allowing him to free up his hands and give Alan a grand tour. Not that there was much to show him but since he seemed curious.
"You're house is a two bedroom?"
"I take pride in that."
"Why?"
"Ouch."
"Sorry. That was rude. But that wasn't what I meant either. I just meant it more as why you wanted a two bedroom, not why you had pride in that. I'll stop talking now."
Laughing, Eric gently hit Alan's back, "Nah, it's alright. My guest bedroom is rarely used. I keep most of my travel stuff in there for the long missions. So I don't have to go digging around."
"Makes sense I guess. What are long missions like?"
"They are alright, I'm not fond of them, I really don't like spending long amount of times in London."
"You don't?"
"It smells; the people are disgusting, everything is covered in filth."
"Oh." Seeing Alan look away Eric realized he didn't feel the same way about it, he probably loved going down there.
"You are entitled to your opinion of the place. I've also been going down there centuries longer than you have."
"I bet it would be nice to go down there for a bit longer than the standard thing."
"It could happen."
Alan gently laughed in his face as he stepped out into the hallway to head back into the kitchen.
"I didn't mean it like that Alan." Running out after him he felt bad for saying that. He meant no disrespect.
"I know. But come now, let's face it. I won't get assignments like that with the way I am."
"Sorry. I didn't mean to upset you."
"You didn't upset me. I have accepted this a long time. Once I became sick I knew I would become limited in what I would and wouldn't be able to do."
"At least you can still get out of the office. That is a good thing."
"Yes. This is true. Only, well, never mind actually."
"What? What is it Alan?"
"Nothing. I said nothing." Sitting down Alan pulled his work closer to get started on it. Feeling Alan wouldn't talk about it again Eric sat down across from him at the table, but not before going into the cabinet and pulling out two glasses so they could at least have some water to drink while they worked. Alan would probably never ask for something either.

Seeing Alan was burying himself in his work Eric noticed his eyes kept flickering, almost as if he was trying to blink away thoughts he was having. It had to be tough knowing you were sick with something everyone knew about but knew nothing about. If he could he would help Alan any way he could, whether it be with just getting the best quality of life he could get or finding a cure, sitting around just watching really wasn't his style.
"Hey Alan?"
Seeing him look up he could see behind his glasses the eyes of a man fighting his mind to stop reminding him of what never would be. He didn't want to see that from him, Alan deserved what they all had, what every reaper took for granted.
"Do you have things you want to do but haven't done yet for whatever reason?"
"Things I want to do?"
"Yea, like go someplace, or do something but haven't done it."
"I have a couple things at least. Why?"
"Just wondering. I realized that I don't know much about who you are still, the first thing I learned about you was that you were sick and it wasn't like you told me about that."
"Oh. Well as I have stated before, I really don't want you knowing too much about me. Its better if you,"
"If I stay away, I know. But come on, is there really any harm in me knowing that you, I don't know, wanted to go to the top of Big Ben?"
"Well. No. I guess not." Sitting back in his chair Alan thought it over, weighed the pros and cons to telling Eric some items from his list of things he wanted to do before he died.
"I have always wanted watch the sunrise from a boat. Visit the Palace, um, attend the frost festival."
"See, that wasn't so hard. And I can help you with two of the three."
"You can?"
"Yes, I can. I know where you can stay on a boat for the night to see the sunset and sunrise. And the palace is actually really easy to get into. The last one is easy too but, well, that depends on the weather really."
"I. I never knew that. Well I figured the boat would be easy I just never looked into really and the Palace I figured would be hard for anyone, including us."
"Easy, really. I should take you there next month, when the Queen does her ball."
"You are teasing me now aren't you?"
"No? Why would I tease you?"
"Do you really think I am an idiot? There is no way you could get into a ball in the Palace held by the Queen. Security would be strong as it is and she would know all the people she invited."
"Challenge accepted then."
"What?"
"Next month you better have formal clothes ready because I am taking you to the Palace. Grand tour and ball included."
Eric watched as Alan's jaw dropped unable to say anything back. He would take that as a yes then. Good to know, he would have to get something for the occasion, his normal work attire wouldn't suit him for an event such as this.

Pausing for dinner they cleaned off the table so Eric could get started, Alan insisted on setting the table for them. Eric didn't want him helping with dinner since he was a guest in his home but Alan refused to do nothing so with Eric's guidance of where everything was the table was set and dinner was cooking. This had been a good day off in Eric's book, sure he spent it doing paperwork and he still wasn't done but talking to Alan, learning more about him made the other thought easier to handle. They ate in a basic silence, Alan only talked to say how good the dish was, but to Eric he considered it a win in his book. Anytime Alan opened his mouth he considered it a win in his book. One day he would get Alan to speak more, he would get him to want to tell him something without it being dragged out of him. He was a good kid, he didn't deserve all the crap he dealt with, he didn't deserve what he put himself through.