Thank you for everything you have done and thank you for being there and being alive. I think that’s really neat that you were born 19 years ago and I think it would be even neater if I would still know you and talk to you 19 years later. You’re a really lovely and delightful person and if you’re already this great right now, imagine how great you will become in the future? OFF THE CHARTS, I’M TELLING YOU!
I hope you know that your smile makes other people smile and that your passion makes other people passionate and that your life makes other people want to stay alive. I love you ❤ 
Without further ado, I’m sorry that this is not particularly uplifting, but I really wanted to write this and it’s all I could come up with, so I hope you can enjoy this anyway.

The silence is so vivid and present around him that, for a moment, Bronze believes that his ears have been shielded from the world of the living. There is an undeniable barrier pressing on his senses. Seeing is hard. Everything seems blurry and he has to concentrate to focus on just one object, to make its silhouette stand out against the white foggy lights. He cannot touch anything or anyone from this world. His feet barely even touch the ground, hovering just an inch above the floor. He does not cast a shadow. He is not there. His own voice is swallowed by a hole in his throat. It does not matter how loud he is screaming. No one can hear him. He can hardly hear himself. He knows because he has tried. It just leaves him breathless until he remembers that his lungs are all dried up and his heart has long stopped beating.

The barrier crumbles as he can hear a sobbing cutting through the blurry darkness. The world around him shifts and he finds himself standing in his own cabin. His former cabin. He does not live here anymore. There is a body slouched over at the edge of the bed. He can see empty bottles of alcohol everywhere on the ground and the sight alone is enough to create the illusion of the nasty reek of an excessive amount of alcohol. His sense of smelling is gone. But he does not need it. The sight is all too familiar. He takes a step forward and somehow immediately closes the distance between himself and the sobbing mess on the bed. He crouches down and grazes Narian’s hair with his fingers. His touch reaches the real world as a cold breeze softly tugging at the brown strands of hair. Gone in the next second. Like a whisper. Not meant to be heard or seen by anyone.

But Narian has felt it. He looks up, right into Bronze’s eyes before his gaze shifts and he seems to be looking right through his former captain.

“Bronze?” He whispers, the voice almost clear. But there is an exhausted slur to it, not even necessarily rooting from the alcohol.

The captain nods slowly. But in the process, he can see Narian’s hopeful eyes drop dark again. “No” Bronze whispers quietly. Louder, a second time. He shakes his head, his fingers try to grasp Narian by his shoulders, but his touch cannot reach through the barrier.

“I knew it” Narian suddenly gets up. He steps right through his captain and Bronze can feel the immediate coldness to his heart as their bodies intersect without actually touching. He gasps for air that he does not actually need. Breathing is a habit, more than a necessity. He is still getting used to that.

Narian does not seem to have felt any of that. He picks up an empty bottle and tosses it against the wall. It shatters on the ground, leftovers of sticky liquid soaking the carpet. “This is ridiculous” That outburst has made Bronze flinch. He places a cold hand on Narian’s shoulder.

“You need to go to bed. You need to sleep” He says very quietly. For a moment he can almost believe that Narian has heard him. But the deputy is just standing there, unfazed, an immovable rock. Unable to ever leave this world the same way that Bronze has. He cannot feel the shoulder trembling underneath his ghostly touch. But he can hear the sobbing. He can see the pain and the sadness and he wishes that he could feel of that in its overwhelming greatness through the barrier. That way, maybe he could take it from Narian. But he cannot help the numbness. Sometimes he fears that he will disappear from this realm between the world of the dead and the world of the living. Sometimes he fears that he won’t ever see Narian again.

“Why are you doing this to me?” Narian suddenly screams, throwing his head back to look at the ceiling. Bronze does not know if those words are directed at him, but he can feel them slashing right through his bones.

“I’m here” He pleads, even though he knows better than that. “And I won’t leave again. I won’t let them take me there” But he does not know where there is. He only knows that this is a place where Narian cannot follow. It is not a place he ever wants to go.

Narian is collapsing on the bed. He grabs for another full bottle of whisky. Bronze sits down next to him. The mattress is unfazed by his nonexistent weight. “Please don’t do this. Not again. Not tonight” Flashbacks of watching Narian trying to drink himself to death are flashing his mind. He tried to hold on to the bottle and even though his strength is worth nothing in the real world, Narian is suddenly somehow to weak and too impatient to open it.

He falls back onto the mattress, lazily dropping the bottle on the floor, feeling incredibly tired all of a sudden. He raises his arms and covers his face. Again, the trembling sobbing takes control over his body. He curls up, not even bothering with a blanket.

Bronze stands up and closes his fists around one of the candles lighting up the room. The coldness surrounding him is enough to put out the candle. He repeats that gesture with all the other lights in the room until they are surrounded by total darkness. Narian does not seem to notice any of that. Maybe he has fallen asleep already.

For a moment, Bronze is just standing there. Until the sobbing sound is cutting back through the darkness, filling his lungs with heavy stones and his heart with piercing knives. Without thinking, he lies down next to Narian. His arms wrap around his deputy’s body easily. Just like they are supposed to be there. He cannot feel Narian’s skin underneath his. But he knows that it is there. He cannot feel Narian unconsciously settling into the embrace, shivering at the sudden cold breath of air.

But as Narian slowly drifts into sleep, the sweet state of unconsciousness, lingering between living and dreaming, he can suddenly feel the warmth. It is only a split second of their bodies melting into each other. Merely the blink of an eye, gone by the next heartbeat. Narian has fallen asleep by the next breath he takes and Bronze is left burying his face against his lover’s back, trying to remember what the soft fabric of his shirt felt like against his cheek and how it smelled when he was still alive.